Today, Mark Udall, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees, issued the following statement as top leaders in the Department of Defense certified that the military is ready for gay and lesbian troops to serve openly, officially setting in motion the end of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." The policy will end in 60 days.
“For almost two decades, we’ve had a policy that dishonored our troops and compromised our national security because it encouraged qualified service members to lie about their identity. Our men and women in uniform have been ahead of us for some time on this issue. They know that what counts in battle isn’t your sexual orientation but your courage, strength, intelligence, training and loyalty.
“I opposed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ from the beginning because it makes no sense, especially while we’re fighting two wars and engaged in conflicts around the world, to tell dedicated, qualified service members that they can’t serve. And I was proud to help lead the fight to end it. With today’s certification, the clock officially begins to tick on the end of the policy. I have faith that our military leaders will implement the repeal with respect, strengthening our military and ensuring the safety of our troops.”