Merkley: Deeply Disappointed in Senate Failure to Repeal Discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement Thursday after Senate Republicans once again blocked the National Defense Authorization Act:

 “For the second time this year, Senate Republicans have disregarded the opinions of the nation’s top military leaders, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen, and voted to block the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’

 “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the brave men and women who serve in the American Armed Forces should never have to lie about their sexual orientation in order to serve their country.  ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is a discriminatory policy that weakens our military readiness by eliminating qualified personnel.”