Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is expected to introduce a bill next week to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” adding an independent voice to the movement to overturn the 1993 law that prohibits gay people from serving openly in the armed forces.
In a statement released this week, Lieberman said:
“I will be proud to be a sponsor of the important effort to enable patriotic gay Americans to defend our national security and our founding values of freedom and opportunity. I have opposed the current policy of preventing gay Americans from openly serving in the military since its enactment in 1993.”
In an exclusive interview with the New York Daily News, Lieberman said allowing gays to serve openly fulfills the bedrock American promise of providing citizens with “an equal opportunity to do whatever job their talents and sense of purpose and motivations lead them to want to do – including military service.”
“When you artificially limit the pool of people who can enlist then you are diminishing military effectiveness,” he added.
Lieberman disputes the claim that allowing gay people to serve openly would cause havoc within the ranks. Indeed, to argue that belittles the maturity of our soldiers.
Since implementation of the statute nearly 20 years ago, the military has discharged some 14,000 qualified men and women, many of them serving in critical jobs like Arabic and Persian translation.