President Biden on Monday commemorated the 10th anniversary of the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule, saying a "great injustice was remedied" on the occasion.
Why it matters: The policy banned openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people from serving. Its repeal moved the U.S. "closer to its foundational promise of equality, dignity, and opportunity for all," Biden said.
Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free The rule was implemented in 1993 . It lead to some 14,000 service members receiving “other than honorable” discharges that prevented them from receiving important benefits and services for veterans, according to a White House statement.
Biden called on Congress to honor the sacrifices LGBTQ service members and veterans by passing the Equality Act , which would expand federal protections for LGBTQ people.
What he’s saying: "Ten years ago today, a great injustice was remedied and a tremendous weight was finally lifted off the shoulders of tens of thousands of dedicated American service members," Biden said. The repeal "showed once again that America is at its best when we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example," he added.
"We must honor their sacrifice by continuing the fight for full equality for LGBTQ+ people, including by finally passing the Equality Act and living up to our highest values of justice and equality for all."
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement Monday that striving for inclusivity also bolsters national defense. "By insisting on standards of merit and allowing to serve in uniform all those who are qualified, we avail ourselves of more talent, better leaders and innovative solutions to the security challenges we face around the world."
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