President Barack Obama today observed the one-year anniversary of the lifting of the ban against openly gay and lesbian servicemembers with the full repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
The president, in an announcement, said, "A year ago today, we upheld the fundamental American values of fairness and equality by finally and formally repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Gay and lesbian Americans now no longer need to hide who they love in order to serve the country they love. It is a testament to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform that this change was implemented in an orderly manner, preserving unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness. As Commander in Chief, I’ve seen that our national security has been strengthened because we are no longer denied the skills and talents of those patriotic Americans who happen to be gay or lesbian. The ability of service members to be open and honest about their families and the people they love honors the integrity of the individuals who serve, strengthens the institutions they serve, and is one of the many reasons why our military remains the finest in the world."
A study released last week showed no negative consequences of repeal.
The annniversary was celebrated in New York City with a party hosted by Barbara Walters and attended by Adm. Mike Mullen, former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.