McCollum Statement on Ending the Pentagon “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy
The Commander-in-Chief, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense all publicly support allowing gay and lesbian Americans to serve openly in the Armed Forces of the United States. This is a significant and long overdue development that I wholeheartedly endorse. It is time for Congress to now act to ensure that every committed and courageous American who wishes to serve our country, regardless of sexual orientation, can proudly wear the uniform of the United States of America.
With our national security at risk our country cannot afford to discard the service of highly skilled soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, therefore I would urge President Obama to immediately issue an executive order imposing a moratorium on the discharge of any member of the Armed Forces being investigated under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” As we saw in yesterday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing there will continue to be anti-gay segregationists in Congress but they will not succeed in denying brave gay and lesbian Americans the opportunity to serve their country with honor and respect.