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BOXER STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNING REPEAL OF “DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL”
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) released the following statement today after President Obama signed into law a repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which for 17 years has banned gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military:
“Today our country is taking a historic step forward for civil rights and full equality for all. The repeal of this unjust and discriminatory policy will make our military and our nation stronger.”
On Saturday, the Senate voted 65-31 to repeal the policy. Now that it has been signed into law, the Department of Defense must begin the process of repealing the policy.
Senator Boxer has strongly opposed “don’t ask, don’t tell” since its inception in the early 1990s. In 1993, she authored an amendment to prevent the policy from being codified into law; it was defeated on a 63-33 vote.
Last month, the Department of Defense released a comprehensive study that found that 70 percent of service members believe repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” would have a positive or neutral effect on their ability to do their jobs. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen both testified strongly in support of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.”