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STATEMENT: 10 Years Since the Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Congress Must Reaffirm Its Commitment to LGBTQ Americans by Passing the Equality Act

Washington, D.C. — Today marks 10 years since the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a 1994 law that barred LGBTQ people from openly serving in the U.S. military. The Center for American Progress is proud of its role in presenting a path forward for repeal. In response, Rudy deLeon, senior fellow for National Security and International Policy at CAP, released the following statement:

The repeal was a landmark event for LGBTQ rights. No longer would gay and lesbian soldiers have to hide their identity simply because they wished to serve their country; no longer would they have to suffer discrimination and inequality because of who they loved. Once the nation’s largest employers changed policy based on the fact that it was wrong to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation, it helped lay the foundations for a decade of redressing further inequities. It was not just the right thing to do for equality—it also strengthened the U.S. military. Congress must continue to build on this foundation and advance equality for all LGBTQ people.

Sharita Gruberg, vice president for the LGBTQ Research and Communications Project at CAP, also released the following statement:

The “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal was a watershed moment in the fight for LGBTQ equality—and yet much more remains to be done 10 years later. Congress must affirm its commitment to the full scope of nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans and continue the work to move the nation closer to its foundational promise of equality and opportunity for all by passing the Equality Act.

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