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It was an historic weekend: The Senate finally followed the House to repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. On this vote, Congress lived up to the values that lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers swore to defend.
The fight against discrimination in the military has been long – longer, by far, than the 17-year-old DADT law. Lambda Legal began to fight back with a lawsuit in 1975 and over the years, we have been proud to represent many members of the military including Margarethe Cammermeyer, Joseph Steffan, Dusty Pruitt and Copy Berg. This year, we filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a legal challenge brought by Log Cabin Republicans, arguing that the impact of DADT extends far beyond those in uniform, to include lesbian, gay and bisexual adults and youth who must contend with the consequences of the discriminatory messages perpetuated by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
But this weekend, we all heard a new message from the halls of Congress: A majority of the members of the House and Senate declared an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation in America's military. The President is eager to end the policy. A huge barrier to equality crumbled.
We congratulate the many lesbian and gay servicemembers who risked or sacrificed their careers to fight for justice; the many LGBT advocacy groups and allies who fought together; and the members of Congress who voted for fairness.
There are so many more battles ahead for equality in our family relationships, at work or in school, and in all aspects of our lives. The government still discriminates against LGBT people by refusing to recognize our relationships and families, and by failing to provide equal benefits. And many LGBT people live in states with no explicit state protections against discrimination. We have a lot of work to do.
But today, we feel stronger and more hopeful. We all fought for change, and we won it. Thank you so much for supporting our work.