Country & Family – Repeal of DADT Allows Gays and Lesbian to Serve Both

Saturday’s vote in the US Senate on the repeal of DADT marked a
historic and significant victory for not just gay rights, but for
the American people. After 17 long years, the discriminatory stain
of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy has been lifted and our
service men and women will soon be able to serve our country
without directly contradicting the values the military holds so
dear – honesty, integrity, duty to country.

We applaud and commend the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network for
their tireless advocacy on this effort. We also want to thank our
own Director of Public Policy, Emily Hecht-McGowan, who served as
SLDN’s co-director of law for many years and defended countless
men and women in their wrongful discharge from military service
under the harmful DADT policy. Most importantly, we salute the many
former and current servicemembers who courageously told their
stories, who risked their careers to make a difference and
sacrificed to make our country a better place – both in the
military and in their advocacy for fairness and equality.

As the President and military begin the certification process and
implementation of the rollback of DADT, we especially want to
remind them of the gay and lesbian families that have been forced
to choose between family and country. FEC is proud to represent the
one million LGBT families raising two million children in this
country, many of whom are actively serving in the military or are
former military servicemembers. I am reminded of John who left the
Navy in order to adopt children from the foster care system with
his same-sex spouse, I am reminded of the woman I met in Virginia
whose daughter was forced to lie about her second mother when
shopping on base. These stories represent the reality of what we
force our servicemembers to do when they can’t serve openly and

Family Equality Council remains committed to ensuring fairness for
our gay and lesbian military families and for all LGBT families. As
we move ahead, we are committed to holding our elected officials
accountable, to working with the President to advance changes that
value ALL families, regardless of how they are created and to being
your voice as we advocate on the Hill and across the country.