Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after the Department of Defense announced a new slate of benefits for gay and lesbian service members and their families:
"Today, the Department of Defense took a major step forward on the path to equality, justice, and fairness in our country -- upholding the very values and ideals that gay and lesbian service members and all of our men and women in uniform fight to preserve each day.
"The repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy ensured that any American can serve the nation they love regardless of who they love. Now, founded on that same principle, all of the loved ones of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen will enjoy more of the benefits, rights, and responsibilities of their fellow military families.
"The military's decision is essential to ending discrimination in our armed forces, yet it is only one step on the longer journey toward equality. It is now up to the justices of the Supreme Court to adhere to the best traditions of our history and Constitution, and act to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act once and for all. Only then will all families -- in our military and across our country -- know the full blessings of equal protection under the law."