Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) released the following statement after the Senate failed to gain enough votes to proceed to consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act, which allowed for an end to the prohibition of gay and lesbian service members serving openly in the U.S. military.
“It is disheartening that Republicans have blocked consideration of a bill that would have removed a key barrier to finally permitting gay and lesbian Americans to serve openly in our armed forces. I firmly believe that sexual orientation, race, religion or gender, should never be used to determine the contribution any man or woman makes to our military. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ runs contrary to the core American belief of equality and it should be repealed it promptly.
“America’s military is fighting two wars, supporting humanitarian operations around the globe, and fighting against al-Qaeda and other terrorists. At such a time, we all should be grateful for the bravery and sacrifice of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines – gay or straight – who defend our nation. It is unbelievable that some senators have blocked even consideration of this legislation, which clearly empowered the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Defense, and the President to enact a fair repeal policy in a manner and time consistent with the military’s standard of readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention, before the repeal is effective.”