Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement on the fifth anniversary of the end of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy:
“Five years ago, America moved closer to fulfilling its highest ideals of equality under the law by ending the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. Today, LGBT servicemembers are able to serve with dignity – and be recognized for the sacrifices they make every day to keep our nation safe.
“Thanks to the efforts of the Obama Administration and the leadership of House Democrats, we are continuing to dismantle the barriers that prevent our servicemembers from openly serving in our Armed Forces. Transgender servicemembers may now serve the nation they love openly, without denying who they are as they do so. While House Republicans continue to obstruct efforts to fully recognize the spouses of LGBT servicemembers and veterans by promoting an agenda of discrimination, House Democrats know that Americans are stronger together – and all our military families and caregivers have earned and deserve full equality.
“Ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and overturning the ban against open service by transgender servicemembers affirms the steadfast principle that anyone who wishes to serve this nation should be welcome, judged by their abilities, and honored for their sacrifices. As the next generation of Americans see the service of openly gay Army Secretary Eric Fanning and others, they too will know that they are welcome to serve. Under this guiding principle, we can continue to celebrate a more inclusive, stronger America for all.”