America owes LGBTQ servicemembers “an immense debt of gratitude” for their distinguished service ever since the moment the nation was founded, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared Tuesday.
In a statement, Pelosi praised the LGBT contribution to the U.S. military and celebrated the tenth anniversary of the repeal of its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which she condemned as “hateful”:
“Ten years ago, our nation took bold action to end a fundamental injustice that had inflicted shame and distress on tens of thousands of brave, patriotic LGBTQ servicemembers. With the repeal of the hateful ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, we strengthened our national security and reaffirmed the bedrock principle that those willing and able to serve be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of who they are or whom they love.
“LGBTQ Americans have always served in our military with honor and distinction, from the earliest days of America’s history. Our nation owes them an immense debt of gratitude.”
Under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy instituted by Democrat President Bill Clinton, members of the service were not supposed to reveal or ask about sexual preferences.
Pelosi, then, turned her ire on President Donald Trump’s “hateful transgender military ban” and vowed to reverse it for the sake of “all those who don the uniform”:
“Yet, three and a half years ago, the Trump Administration shamefully abandoned our founding promise of equality with its hateful transgender military ban. It is our great unfinished work to reverse this disgraceful ban and defend the freedoms of all who serve our nation – just as they defend ours.
“A decade after sending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ into the dustbin of history, House Democrats remain committed to honoring our extraordinary LGBTQ servicemembers and all those who don the uniform. As we celebrate this momentous anniversary, we will continue fighting to build on this progress and finally enact the Equality Act to fully end discrimination against all LGBTQ Americans once and for all.”