WASHINGTON, DC- House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today released the following statement on the reevaluation of the military policy known as, “Don’t ask don’t tell.”

“In his State of the Union address the President declared that he will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies many Americans the right to serve the country they love because of their sexual orientation.  And today, Defense Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen followed up on the President’s pledge by advocating before the Senate Armed Services Committee a re-evaluation and reversal of the current flawed and discriminatory policy.  I support the President’s efforts.  The time has come to do-away with the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.

“Our military is overstretched and our troops and their families are under unprecedented strain.  We simply cannot afford to lose any more troops to this flawed policy.  Our military is the best in the world and, I have faith in the uniformed and civilian leadership of the Defense Department, as well as the dedication, professionalism, and integrity of our troops, to handle this transition without any detriment to readiness or capability.

“The men and women who wear the uniform of this great nation should be entitled to all the rights they so heroically defend.  All Americans must work with President Obama, Secretary Gates, and Chairman Mullen to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and finally accord the gay men and women who have served, who serve today and who choose to serve in the future the dignity they deserve and the honor they have earned.”