Hoyer: Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a 'Good Day for America'

September 20, 2011 - 3:59 PM
Steny Hoyer

FILE: Then-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Md., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in 2010. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Washington (CNSNews.com) - House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)” and the ban on homosexuality in the military,  marked a “good day for America, for defeating prejudice, and maximizing the use of the skills of all people willing to serve their country.”

The DADT law removed the question about homosexuality from military induction forms, enabling homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they did not say they were homosexual.

“It is a deeply flawed, discriminatory policy which does not add to the nation’s security,” Hoyer, the number two Democrat in Congress, said at his weekly pen-and-pan news conference.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was officially removed at midnight on Tuesday morning. President Barack Obama formally certified military readiness for the repeal of the law in July of 2011, allowing a two-month waiting period before it was put into effect, during which the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were to certify that removing the policy would not damage military readiness.

A federal judge in California ruled the DADT law unconstitutional in September of 2010.  In December of that year President Obama signed a bill to repeal the law.

The military spent the intervening nine months developing and conducting sessions to prepare its personnel for the implementation of the new policy.

Then-President Bill Clinton proposed the law in 1993.

The name “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a popular title applied by the campaign to repeal the military ban on homosexuality, according to the Center for Military Readiness.

The center says that the law should more properly be called the “Military Personnel Eligibility Act of 1993” and that federal law barred not only homosexuals from being identified but from actual service in the military.