Nov 18 2010
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called on her colleagues in the Senate to vote in favor of repealing the military's “Don't ask, don't tell” policy, which unfairly discriminates against gay and lesbian Americans in uniform. Senator Feinstein made her statement at a press conference with fellow Democratic Senators.
Following is Senator Feinstein's statement:
I’m an 18-year member of the Judiciary Committee. I’m not a lawyer, but I believe in my heart of hearts that "Don’t ask, don’t tell" is unconstitutional.
And as a matter of fact, a federal district court has found that, in fact, this is the case. The reason is simple: this policy treats the same class of people differently, and that, I think, deprives them of their right to equality under the law.
Additionally, as has been said, this policy denies our nation good talent. That’s just plain wrong.
Let me just give you three cases:
This cost us Lacye Presley, a United States Army medic. She was awarded a Bronze Star for actions in Iraq. And she was discharged for being a lesbian.
It cost us Anthony Woods, a West Point graduate. He was also awarded a Bronze Star and an Army Commendation Medal for leadership in Iraq. And he was discharged due to his sexuality.
It cost us Dan Choi and Steve Benjamin. Both are Arab linguists whose skills were desperately needed. Both served in Iraq. And both were discharged for being gay.
Now thousands more have been discharged, not because they didn’t excel at their jobs, but because of their sexual orientation.
This law is unconstitutional, and the Senate should take action before the Supreme Court and make the record crystal clear that we agree.
Thank you very much.