Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) released the following statement after Senate passage of a stand-alone bill to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Senator Cardin is an original cosponsor of this bill to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. Armed Forces.
“The Senate has now acted to ensure that brave men and women of our military can continue to serve with honesty and integrity. I firmly believe that sexual orientation, race, religion or gender, should never be used to determine the contribution any man or woman makes to our military. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ran contrary to the core American belief of equality and I am pleased that we now can move beyond such open discrimination.
“America’s military is fighting two wars, supporting humanitarian operations around the globe, and fighting against al-Qaeda and other terrorists. At such a time, we all should be grateful for the bravery and sacrifice of all our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines – gay or straight – who defend our nation.”
The measure passed by the Senate today, already approved by the House of Representatives, will allow the Pentagon and the President to enact a fair repeal policy in a manner and time consistent with the military’s standard of readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention.