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Obama commemorates five years since repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Obama commemorates five years since repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

US President Barack Obama has commemorated five years since the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

The commander-in-chief signed a bill repealing the ban on LGBTI people serving in the military after on 23 December 2010 after more than 13,000 troops had been discharged under the policy.

‘Five years ago today, I signed a bipartisan bill repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – extending our country’s promise of equality to those who protect it every day,’ he wrote on Facebook.

‘Today, Americans can serve the country they love no matter who they love, and openly gay, lesbian and bisexual men and women in uniform make our military stronger and America safer.’

Obama continued: ‘Since the repeal of DADT, I’ve received hundreds of letters from service members who can now serve their country openly. They come from every corner of America and from military bases around the world. And their stories are a powerful reminder of how much has changed over the past five years.

‘Because of all we’ve accomplished together, a grieving widow can now receive her wife’s flag at her funeral. A spouse can now be part of his husband’s promotion ceremony. One person told me he had been torn between his desire to serve his country and his longing to live life openly as a gay man. He no longer is forced to make that choice. And just last summer, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy.

But Obama said the work on LGBTI rights was not finished

‘From the boardroom to the locker room, LGBT Americans still face prejudice in their daily lives. In far too many states, people still live in fear of being fired from their jobs just because they’re gay,’ he said.

‘Young people struggling with their gender identities are bullied and beaten and told they don’t belong. That kind of prejudice has no place in our country, and as Americans we need to let every one of them know that they are not alone. These are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters. We stand with you, and we’re here to help you grow up strong and confident and proud of who you are.’

Read Obama’s full post below: