Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07)and Keith Ellison (MN-05) today released the following statement in celebration of the end of the military’s “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, which barred openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. armed forces:

“The end of the discriminatory "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy is a milestone for civil rights in America. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has long supported the LGBT community in thebattle against this failed policy, whichis responsible for the discharge of more than 13,000 highly qualified American service members. This misguided policy forced an additional estimated 65,000 service members to hide who they are to serve the country they love.   

“We have asked America’s finest to protect our liberties by fighting two wars, often serving multiple tours. We need competent soldiers, regardless of sexual orientation but "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" served only to hamper our military readiness.

“The CPC continues working to end all forms of discrimination. We applaud President Obama’s tireless leadership to end this policy and pay tribute to the brave men and women who sacrifice in service to this great nation.”