U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a cosponsor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, issued the following statement on the Department of Defense's certification on Friday that it is prepared for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the United States armed forces:
"This is an important moment for the men and women of our armed forces and a significant step forward as we work to end discrimination by the federal government against LGBT Americans, especially those who serve our nation in uniform. With its certification of readiness today, the Defense Department is confirming what our military personnel told us last year -- that our armed forces will continue to be the most capable and professional fighting force in the world, regardless of the sexual orientation of those within its ranks."
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell is discrimination, plain and simple. As the brave men and women who serve our country in uniform have the courage to fight for our freedom, we should likewise defend theirs. I was proud to not only vote to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell during the lame duck session, but to cosponsor it. I have closely monitored its implementation these last seven months and look forward to seeing the ban on service finally lifted once and for all this September."