Congressman Garamendi on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Report: "Don’t Delay, Don’t Discriminate in the Military"
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement following the release of a Department of Defense report revealing that 70 percent of active duty military believe allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to openly serve would have little or no negative impact on military cohesion:
"Yesterday’s report by the Department of Defense demonstrates once and for all that our nation’s continuing discrimination against gay and lesbian soldiers serves no purpose and must end. Anyone willing to put on the uniform and risk their life for our nation deserves the ability to serve openly in our military without fear of reprisal.
"Inevitably we will end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Yet every year we delay its repeal, hundreds of brave soldiers, including in demand translators and intelligence personnel, will be kicked out of the military for reasons we can now conclusively say are without merit. These early terminations of good soldiers have cost America at least half a billion dollars in lost productivity and retraining costs. This policy must end.
"Members of Congress seeking delay called for this report; they now have it. Let’s end the charade that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is necessary for unit cohesion. We know it’s not. I plead with my colleagues in the Senate, Don’t Delay, Don’t Discriminate in the military. Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell."
On May 27, 2010, the House of Representatives, by a 234-194 margin, voted to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Congressman Garamendi voted in favor of the legislation.