Washington, DC— Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after the military officially ended the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy:
“Today, we’re ending nearly two decades of injustice in our military.
“‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has been a drain on our military, our readiness, and our national security for too long, and it must end. Every American, no matter who you are, or who you love, can now serve our country the way we were intended to – with honesty and integrity.
“Our military is now ready to remove the remaining barriers to equality for gay and lesbian service members. I believe Secretary Panetta and the Service Secretaries are working to ensure that gay and lesbian service members are treated with respect and dignity. All service members should have the same advancement opportunities.
“The Department of Defense must extend support and benefits to all service members and their partners. This includes making same-sex married couples eligible for joint duty assignments, family center programs, and military family housing. I know some of this may take time and I support the Secretary as he works on these issues.”