Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy After The Senate’s Historic Vote On Saturday To Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

[In a vote of 65 to 31, the U.S. Senate on Saturday approved legislation to repeal the controversial ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that legalizes discrimination against gays and lesbians serving, or wanting to serve, in the U.S. military.  Passage of the bill came only hours after the Senate invoked cloture -- ended a filibuster – on the bill.  The bill, which has already passed the House, now goes to the President’s desk for signing.  Following is the reaction of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to the Senate’s historic vote.  Leahy has long been a leading cosponsor of legislation to repeal DADT.]   

I am proud that the Senate rose to the occasion in this historic vote.  It is a galvanizing victory for individual civil rights in our country, grounded in enduring American values.  Removing a discriminatory barrier for some Americans underscores the rights of all Americans.

I am grateful to have been part of this effort that now will end an era of mandated discrimination – official discrimination that has been imposed by law on our U.S. military and those who serve within it.  When signed into law, this will let people live honest lives as they serve their country.

We ask our troops to protect freedom around the globe.  Now we helping to protect their basic freedoms and equal rights here at home. 

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