“Today marks the official end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and for many members of the armed forces, the beginning of their service in a military that allows them to defend their country openly and honestly,” said Michael Keegan, president of People For the American Way. “This day is the result of years of hard work and great bravery from men and women determined to serve their country without hiding their identities.
“For the first time in history, patriotic Americans who are willing to put their lives on the line for their country won’t be shown the door because of anti-gay prejudice. President Obama should be applauded for the leadership he’s shown on this issue. But transgender Americans still cannot serve their country in the military, and millions of gay and lesbian Americans still don’t have access to the protections that marriage affords and can be fired from their jobs simply for being gay. Today is a historic beginning – but all Americans deserve equal treatment under the law, and much work lies ahead as we continue to fight to end the many discriminatory laws still on the books.”