Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy After Attending The Signing Ceremony For The Law Repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

“This is a day of significance to every American, and a day of deeply personal and particular meaning to so many who, until now, have been prevented by law from  serving openly and honestly as who they are.  What a lasting memory it was to be able to watch Wednesday as President Obama signed into law the bill to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  

“This is a galvanizing victory for individual civil rights in our country, grounded in enduring American values.  When we protect the rights of any Americans, we protect the rights of all Americans.  No soldiers, sailors, Marines, or members of the Air Force or Coast Guard who have faced this discrimination need ever again question whether their country values their service because of who they are.”

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A Senator’s-Eye-View Of The Historic DADT Repeal Bill Signing

[Senator Patrick Leahy was on hand Wednesday as President Obama signed into law a bill to repeal the 17-year-old Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law that institutionalized discrimination against gays and lesbians serving – or wanting to serve – in the U.S. military.  Leahy, long a leading advocate of repeal, is also a longtime photographer, and he didn’t miss the chance to capture some up-close images as history was made.]

Senator Leahy:  “This is the first bill signing I’ve been to in 36 years -- and I’ve been to hundreds -- where there was a repartee between the President and the audience.  President Obama was loving it.  He told me after the signing that he was so happy about the day and its meaning.  Then he wished us a Merry Christmas to boot.”

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