President Joe Biden on Monday recognized the 10-year anniversary of the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a policy that forced gay, lesbian and bisexual military service members to hide their sexuality.
Then-President Bill Clinton signed the policy into law in 1993 as a compromise to end the existing ban on gay people serving. In total, over the 17 years the policy was in effect, an estimated 13,000 service members were discharged, according to data the military provided to The Associated Press.
In December 2010, then-President Barack Obama signed a repeal bill, but it didn’t take effect until Sept. 20, 2011.
Biden added that the country must “honor their sacrifice” and continue to fight for full equality for LGBTQ people, including by passing the Equality Act, which would provide the first federal protections from discrimination for LGBTQ people in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, credit and jury service, among other areas of life. The bill passed the House in April but has since stalled in the Senate.
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The U.S. House has once again passed the sweeping anti-discrimination bill known as the Equality Act, sending it to the closely-divided Senate where it will face a tougher road to passage. David Johns, the executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, joined LX News to make a case for why the Equality Act is needed.