President Obama’s reelection campaign on Tuesday touted the end of the military policy “Don’t ask, don’t tell” as one of the Obama administration’s “signature achievements.”
The ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military officially ended Tuesday, following a vote to repeal it in December. Obama, who ran on the pledge to end the policy in 2008, called it an “honor” to sign the repeal into law in July, setting into motion a 60-day waiting period.
Obama on Tuesday praised the end of the policy, which was enacted in 1993 under President Clinton. Several Democratic members of the Senate Armed Services Committee hailed the date as “historic.”
“As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House early on Tuesday.
Obama’s campaign began touting the repeal as a major accomplishment prior to the official repeal date, with campaign merchandise for sale on the reelection website. The campaign released a Web video this week that includes stories of members of the military celebrating the repeal.
“It's a reminder that — as broken as Washington is and as long as change can take — people and organizations can do amazing things when they work together and never waver from the vision that unites them,” Messina wrote.