May 27, 2010
Contact: Aaron Hunter 202-225-2040
Congresswoman Susan Davis' Floor Statement on Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell
Washington – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) delivered the following statement in the House of Representatives during consideration of an amendment to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. The amendment passed the House on a vote of 234-194.
Madame Speaker, there is a policy in place which no longer reflects the needs of our military.
We can correct that today through the Murphy amendment to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
The intent of this amendment is not to freeze the ongoing Department if Defense (DOD) implementation review process or discount the findings of DOD’s Comprehensive Review Working Group on this subject.
We support their work and know how important their findings will be to the successful repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
A fundamental piece of their findings will be the opinions of our service members.
Congress sincerely values their point of view and we know DOD will work hard to address their concerns.
But DOD’s review and Congressional action are not mutually exclusive.
So as the review unfolds, Congress is moving forward to repeal a law that negatively impacts our military.
We have heard that repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will weaken unit cohesion and by extension, national security.
But it is forcing those in uniform to lie to their colleagues that weakens unit cohesion.
And it is firing personnel during two wars just because they are gay that weakens national security.
As Chairwoman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, I know that our military draws its strength from the integrity of our unified force. But the current law challenges this integrity by creating two realities within the ranks---one for straight service members, and one for those who are gay.
Every day service members get ready for work in nearly all of our districts. If they are straight they put on their uniform, kiss a loved one goodbye, and commute to their installation.
If they are gay they do exactly the same.
Yet the moment the gay service member arrives at work, he or she is forced to lie, to conceal the basic core of who he or she is in order to serve our nation.
Madame Speaker, the vocal minority in our country that opposes this amendment says that these two realities keep the military strong and are consistent with American values.
But this is not true. Today, over 70% of the American people understand that it is this policy that weakens our military, not the promise of repeal.
I hope all my colleagues will stand on the right side of history and end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Vote yes on the Murphy Amendment.