FILE - In this March 26, 2007 file photo, Andrew Chapin of New York City takes part in a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington supporting legislative efforts to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gay soldiers. National security adviser James Jones says President Barack Obama is committed to taking on the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military. But Jones says the president has many other pressing matters on his desk, including wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, file)
Here’s how the mayoral candidates reacted to the passage of the bill repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy that prevented gays from serving openly in the military. We’ll start with Rep. Danny Davis. Davis is the only candidate who played a direct in ending DADT, voting for the bill in the House of Representatives. Here are his remarks on the House floor:
Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 2965, Repealing "Don’t Ask, Don't Tell". This bill will allow thousands of Americans who have wanted the chance to serve their country openly and freely an opportunity to do so.
The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is the right thing to do morally as a country. Military personnel, who risk their lives on a daily basis so that we can enjoy all the freedoms America has to offer, should not be denied the ability to serve based upon their sexual orientation. Equality is not a privilege, it is a right and repealing this law is a huge step in that direction.
At a time when our country is fighting two wars we should support those Americans whom fight for our liberties and freedoms. Unfortunately, DADT prevents thousands from doing so which makes no sense at all. The Pentagon’s report from last month indicated a majority of our military soldiers and leaders support a repeal of DADT and I believe we should listen to them and honor what our country really stands for which is freedom, liberty, and justice for all.
Miguel Del Valle issued this statement:
I applaud the Senate for moving the United States one step closer to full repeal of the obsolete and unjust Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
This passage marks a shift in the country’s military culture, where now individuals will be able to serve proudly and openly, regardless of their sexual orientation.
I am proud that both of Illinois’ Senators voted to repeal this policy, which has, since 1993, forced thousands of servicemen and women out of our military. This vote is a major victory on the path toward full equality for LGBTQ Americans.
Rahm Emanuel also issued a statement:
With a final vote just hours away, Rahm Emanuel today released the following statement on the US Senate vote to advance the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.
Today marks another step forward on the road to equality for LGBT Americans. Gay and lesbian Americans who put their lives in harm’s way on behalf of our nation should be honored - they should never have to hide who they are. While there remains much work to be done, President Obama has taken more steps to advance LGBT equality than any other president, securing hospital visitation rights for LGBT couples, providing benefits to LGBT partners in the federal workforce, and signing hate crimes legislation into law. I commend all Senators that voted to make our military reflect our nation's values and to make America stronger at home and abroad.
At a town hall meeting with members of the gay and lesbian community at the Center on Halsted on Sunday, Gery Chico held up a newspaper with a front-page headline declaring the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: “I was really happy to wake up and see the headlines in the newspapers about the repeal,” Chico said.
Carol Moseley Braun and James Meeks did not release statements on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”