Quigley Calls for Repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell”

13,000 service members discharged since 1994

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley Wednesday called for the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which currently mandates the discharge of openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual service members as a violation of Title 10 of the U.S. Code.

"The 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy is not only morally repugnant, but as the recent dismissal of National Guard Lt. Dan Choi demonstrated, it’s making us less safe as well." Quigley stated in a release from his office Wednesday. "I’m encouraged that President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of the Army (Rep. John McHugh) agrees that this policy needs to be reviewed and changed, but we must take action sooner rather than later." 

Quigley said that the repeal of the ban would not undermine military readiness, noting that, on the contrary, the Armed Forces has discharged 13,000 service members since 1994 because of the policy.

Quigley also announced that he has signed on as a co-sponsor of House Resolution 1283 --  the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009. MREA will replace the current 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' policy, with a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation to any member of the Armed Forces or person seeking to become a member, according to the release. The Act also authorizes the re-accession of otherwise qualified individuals who had been previously separated back into service.

"This is bigger than gay rights. It’s about human rights, no matter what your race, gender, or sexual orientation," Quigley said. "There’s something fundamentally wrong with encouraging citizens to serve their country, as long as they lie about who they are."

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