Today, Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. issued the following statement on H.R. 2965, which would repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding sexual orientation. The bill passed the House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Congressman Jackson said:
"Today, I was pleased to vote to end the military's hide-and-seek 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy so that gay and lesbian members of our armed services can continue to serve honorably. Ending this policy is both morally right and strategically sound. We have the finest military in the world - one that deters attacks on our homeland, and is ready to take the fight to our enemies. Removing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' will strengthen our military even more.
"Gay and lesbian members of our military have provided outstanding service to our country in the past, and ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' would guarantee that they can serve into the future. Our military needs the best and brightest, regardless of their sexual orientation. The most important criteria for military service is the willingness to fight and die for our country. That's what matters in a warzone, and today's vote reflects that.
"I hope the Senate will pass this stand-alone bill as soon as possible so that the President can sign it, and the military can begin implementing a new policy."