Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after President Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen certified that requirements for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell have been met. The repeal will go into effect in 60 days, on September 20, 2011:
"Today, our armed forces are one step closer to upholding the values of fairness and civil rights for all Americans. With the actions of President Obama, Secretary Panetta, and Admiral Mullen, the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy will soon be history; our military will be stronger; our nation will end a fundamental injustice; and the American people will be more secure.
"When the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is complete, we will send a clear message to every American: anyone with the courage to wear our nation's uniform will be judged not by whom they love, but by their skill, ability, and love of country. We will open the doors of service to all, regardless of sexual orientation. We will move toward a future founded on progress, defined by our ideals, shaped by the promise of equality for all.
"Democrats made equality a core priority and goal of the 111th Congress -- from the first days with the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to the last days with the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Today, I commend the President, Secretary Panetta, Admiral Mullen, and our military leaders for standing up for this same goal, advancing the fundamental rights of all Americans and taking this bold step forward for our country."