On the one-year anniversary of ending the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for gays and lesbians, President Obama said national security has improved as a result.
“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,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “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.”
The president said unit cohesion, which was a concern of those opposed to ending the policy, has not suffered.
“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,” he said. “Gay and lesbian Americans now no longer need to hide who they love in order to serve the country they love.”
Earlier this year, Mr. Obama also declared his support for gay marriage, although he has not pursued a legislative initiative to make it legal nationwide.