With his signature, the President put in motion the end of a policy that has hurt our military as a whole, that has forced thousands of those who serve to do so under a cloud of anxiety and isolation, and that has stood as a symbol of the barriers to unity and equality in our country.
As the President put it, “For we are not a nation that says, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says, ‘Out of many, we are one.'”
The president added, “I want to express my gratitude to the men and women in this room who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Services. (Applause.) I want to thank all the patriots who are here today, all of them who were forced to hang up their uniforms as a result of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell'” — but who never stopped fighting for this country, and who rallied and who marched and fought for change. I want to thank everyone here who stood with them in that fight.”
The entire event was profound, and the President’s remarks are well worth reading in full.
The President stressed for the sake of those in uniform now that he, the Defense Secretary and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs still need to certify that the military has made any needed preparations for the transition before repeal goes into effect.