Congressman Garamendi and House Democrats Again Vote to End Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
In the first speech about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell on the House floor today,
Congressman Garamendi talks about Anthony Woods, a veteran who was
wastefully dismissed under the discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA), the son of a veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee, today joined his Democratic colleagues in the House in voting to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which requires the military discharge qualified gay and lesbian soldiers simply because of their sexual orientation. In a speech delivered on the House floor this morning, Congressman Garamendi was the first member of Congress to speak out against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell today. The bill passed by a 250-175 vote.
"On the battlefield, it doesn’t matter who you love; it matters what country you love. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is wrong. Period," Congressman Garamendi said. "Anyone brave enough to wear the uniform in defense of our country should not be forced to live a lie. Thousands of gay and lesbian soldiers who have served our country honorably have been needlessly discharged because of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, including many in demand linguists and intelligence officers. This discriminatory policy must stop, and it must stop now."
In May, the House voted to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell by a 234-194 vote. While its repeal has stalled in the Senate, a standalone repeal has been recently introduced in the Senate that is likely to be voted on before the end of the year.
A report released by the Department of Defense in late November revealed that 70 percent of active duty military personnel believe allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to openly serve would have little or no negative impact on military cohesion.