President Obama today (Dec. 22) signed the bill that marks the end of the military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers.
Discharged Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva; Adm. Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.]; Congressman Patrick Murphy [D-Pa.], Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-Nev.] and U.S. Sens. Joseph Lieberman [I-Conn.] and Susan Collins [R-Maine] were among those who joined the commander-in-chief on stage during the signing ceremony at the Interior Department. LGBT activists and other members of Congress were also in attendance.
“This morning I am proud to sign a law that will bring an end to “don’t ask, don’t tell,” said Obama, highlighting gay World War II veteran Andy Lee who saved fellow soldier Lloyd Corwin during the Battle of the Bulge. “This law I am about to sign will strengthen our national security and uphold the ideas our fighting men and women risk their lives to defend. No longer will tens of thousands of men in uniform be asked to live a lie. Our people sacrifice a lot for their country, including their lives. None of them should have to sacrifice their integrity as well.”