President Barack Obama signed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal Act of 2010 at the Interior Department on December 22, 2010. President Obama said that this act will help our national security and uphold the ideals of our nation.
He said, "So this morning, I am proud to sign a law that will bring an end to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' It is a law -- this law I'm about to sign will strengthen our national security and uphold the ideals that our fighting men and women risk their lives to defend.
"No longer will our country be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans who were forced to leave the military -- regardless of their skills, no matter their bravery or their zeal, no matter their years of exemplary performance -- because they happen to be gay. No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie, or look over their shoulder, in order to serve the country that they love.
"As Admiral Mike Mullen has said, 'Our people sacrifice a lot for their country, including their lives. None of them should have to sacrifice their integrity as well.'
"That's why I believe this is the right thing to do for our military. That's why I believe it is the right thing to do, period."
He continued, "...Today we're marking an historic milestone, but also the culmination of two of the most productive years in the history of Congress, in no small part because of their leadership. And so we are very grateful to them."
In closing the President said, "For we are not a nation that says, 'don't ask, don't tell.' We are a nation that says, 'Out of many, we are one.' We are a nation that welcomes the service of every patriot. We are a nation that believes that all men and women are created equal. Those are the ideals that generations have fought for. Those are the ideals that we uphold today. And now, it is my honor to sign this bill into law."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reinforced the President's remarks. She said, "This is a historic step forward for all Americans, a step toward a more perfect union and a more perfect reflection of our core values. As the President and I have repeatedly said, we are committed to universal standards abroad and here at home. Our progress on equality here strengthens our advocacy for human dignity everywhere."