News release from Servicemembers United:
WASHINGTON - In yet another blow to the crumbling "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, Gen. Colin Powell released a statement today acknowledging changes in the societal attitudes and assumptions that had previously underpinned the law and announcing his full support for the law's repeal.
“In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” reads the statement from his office. “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”
"This announcement today by General Powell represents yet another crushing blow to the failed and archaic 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law,' said Alexander Nicholson, founder and Executive Director of Servicemembers United. "General Powell is one of the most respected retired military leaders in the United States today, and this announcement should serve as the final nail in the coffin of this outdated law. Hold-out supporters of this failed law should read the writing on the wall now and abandon their attempts to cling to this failed policy."
Gen. Powell was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the issue of gays and lesbians in the U.S. military was last debated in 1993 and when the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law went into effect in 1994. His announcement follows a similarly striking announcement from current Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen yesterday that he now supports repealing the law after a careful examination takes place to determine the best strategy for mitigating any potential impact the policy change might have on the armed forces.
Servicemembers United, a non-profit and non-partisan organization, is the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies. Based in Washington, DC, Servicemembers United actively engages in education, advocacy, and lobbying on issues affecting the gay military, veteran, and defense community.