Washington, D.C.– The following is a statement by Winnie Stachelberg, Senior Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress:
"The Center for American Progress applauds President Obama’s announcement during the State of the Union address that gay men and women will be able to serve openly in the United States military this year. In a strong bipartisan vote, Congress voted to repeal the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" (DADT) policy in December of last year, and the Pentagon is now developing regulatory and other changes that need to be in place before open service is implemented. The president’s announcement tonight sends a strong signal that open service is a priority for the Pentagon, and that very soon gay men and women will be able to serve our country with full honesty and integrity. We are grateful for the president’s leadership on this issue."