Michael Mitchell: National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director
"It's hard to find words to express how happy and relieved we are at National Stonewall Democrats that the despicable Don't Ask, Don't Tell will finally be repealed. For the last 17 years, we have watched many in our country pretend DADT was necessary and right, when in fact it was neither. Today's action by the US Senate begins to close a chapter of discrimination in the military based on sexual orientation that is hundreds of years long. Today, President Obama can say that he delivered on a big promise to our community and to the American people.
"As Americans, we can be proud that integrity and justice are the big winners today, not partisan politics.
"It goes without saying that we are very grateful for the hard work of Senate Democrats - not least of which Majority Leader Reid and Chairman Levin - who kept the path to repeal open when we thought it was lost, and who provided the vast majority of votes for repeal. It would be ungracious of us to not also thank the handful of Republican Senators who showed courage and bucked the obstructionist leadership of their party by voting to help restore integrity to our military.
"We also thank the tireless work of the patriots in the LGBT and allied communities who have been involved with the repeal effort, and we thank our own NSD members for their thousands upon thousands of letters, phone calls and in-person meetings that helped move the country toward repeal.
"Finally, we continue to be deeply appreciative of the brave women and men in uniform who currently serve and have served our country, some at incredible sacrifice, who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. We know the heavy burden that serving silently has been for them and we are humbled by their service under such difficult circumstances. We have been honored to have been able to fight for them in our own way - as they fight and have fought for our country."
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
"Gay, lesbian and bisexual service members posted around the world are standing a little taller today, but they're still very much at risk because repeal is not final. I respectfully ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to use his authority to suspend all 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' investigations during this interim period. Until the President signs the bill, until there is certification, and until the 60-day Congressional period is over, no one should be investigated or discharged under this discriminatory law. Even with this historic vote, service members must continue to serve in silence until repeal is final. Certification and the 60-day Congressional requirement must be wrapped up no later than the first quarter of 2011. The bottom line: for now, gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members must remain cautiously closeted," said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
"We owe a great deal of thanks to many Congressional leaders who got us here today -- Patrick Murphy, Susan Davis, Speaker Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Hoyer. In the Senate this would not have happened without Chairman Levin and Senators Lieberman, Mark Udall, Gillibrand, Collins and so many others. But let me also personally thank Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. This is the defining civil right initiative of this decade and today's bill passage would not have been possible without Harry Reid's determined leadership. And finally, without commitment and a clear plan from the White House for the Pentagon's Comprehensive Review Working Group, we would not stand here today. I have no doubt the February testimony of Sec. Gates and Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, would not have happened without the President," Sarvis said.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese
America made history today. After 17 years of this failed and discriminatory law, gay and lesbian service members will soon be able to serve with the full honor and integrity the uniform demands. No longer will patriots be forced to lie in order to serve the country they love and are willing to die for.
This vote by the United States Senate will have extremely positive ripple effects well beyond 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Our government has sent a powerful message that discrimination, on any level, should not be tolerated.
Freedom to Marry's Political Director Sean Eldridge:
"Freedom to Marry applauds today's vote to repeal military discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans defending our country. Military service, like marriage, has long been considered a defining element of citizenship and full participation in society. And military discrimination, like exclusion from marriage, is one of the cruelest inequalities inflicted on gay Americans by their own government.
"Our elected representatives have begun catching up with the American people, who oppose discrimination of any kind against gay and lesbian Americans. In love and war, the government should honor the commitment of gay Americans. We urge the President and Congress to turn their attention to repealing federal marriage discrimination inflicted by the so-called 'Defense of Marriage Act'."
Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
"Today's victory is a tremendous one for a nation that once denied women and African Americans the opportunity to serve. An integrated military, inclusive of gay and lesbian service members, is a moral imperative for our nation. We in the civil and human rights community believed that in 1948 when this country first allowed women and African Americans to serve in the military and we also believe that today.
'Don't ask, don't tell' turned its back on the principle that people who are willing and able to do a job should be given a fair opportunity to do so. This is not only one of the most important principles behind the struggle to guarantee the civil and human rights of all people - it is also a matter of sound military strategy and common sense.
Congressman Al Green summed up this injustice perfectly on the House Floor, stating 'I will not ask people who are willing to die for my country to live a lie for my country.' The entire civil and human rights community echoes this sentiment as we continue to strive for an America that's as good as its ideals in the coming Congress."
Today, GetEQUAL - a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization applauded congressional action on the repeal of the discriminatory law known as Don't Ask Don't Tell. After a cloture vote held this morning and a final vote moments ago, the United States Senate with bi-partisan support declared their clear support towards ending the discrimination of all LGBT service men and women and took another step towards creating equality and justice for all LGBT Americans. While a large step forward was taken by ending the discriminatory law today, there remain many obstacles in the way of full equality for LGBT service men and women. The current legislation that passed the Senate only moments ago still leaves many issues open, ranging from the service of Transgender Men and Women and the implementation of the repeal.
GetEqual Co-Founder Robin McGhee recently released this statement in response to the senate action today. "We are thrilled today that the Senate has taken one more step toward full legal equality for all Americans. Today's vote is one more step forward in not only retiring this discriminatory policy, but also in the larger march toward equality and justice for LGBT Americans. While today's vote doesn't yet finalize repeal, and while the legislation is far from perfect -- leaving our transgender sisters and brothers in the grip of discrimination -- we are happy to have finally moved past this hurdle. Though we have many other hurdles ahead of us to truly and fully end military discrimination for the entire LGBT community, we look forward to the fight ahead to repeal this policy once and for all."
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey
"Today's vote is the critical strike against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and toward creating a path that could end in lesbian, gay and bisexual people being able to serve openly, honestly, and to great benefit of our country. We celebrate this important victory and thank all the senators who supported fairness today. We are on the brink of making history. An end to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' cannot happen soon enough. This arcane and costly policy has destroyed thousands of careers, wasted much-needed dollars, and failed to enhance our nation's security. We are now poised to end this travesty once and for all, as the Senate today joined with the three-quarters of Americans who already believe 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' must go. People from every background, every faith, every community across the country know that qualified, patriotic Americans willing to risk their lives by serving in the military should be able to do so, free of discrimination. When full repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is implemented, our nation will honor the principles of fairness and justice that it holds so dearly. We urge President Obama to act swiftly to sign this historic bill."
MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini, Esq.
"Today's vote by the U.S. Senate to repeal 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' will end 13 years of ugly, government-sponsored discrimination, and is an historic victory for LGBT equality. MassEquality thanks President Obama for delivering on his campaign promise to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and applauds those senators who voted for repeal, particularly those who, like Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, crossed party lines to take an affirmative vote in favor of LGBT equality.
"But the true courage behind today's vote has been that of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual servicemembers and their families who have endured the harms of this discriminatory law while advancing freedom for others, and the countless veterans and citizens who made visit after visit, placed call after call, and wrote letter after letter until Congress finally joined the supermajority of Americans, Massachusetts citizens, and servicemembers who support the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
"Since March, MassEquality has worked hard to convince Sen. Brown to vote to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell. We delivered 2,262 postcards and 110 handwritten letters to Sen. Brown urging him to vote for repeal; we made nearly 10,000 calls to families of veterans and other MassEquality members urging them to call Sen. Brown to ask him to support repeal; we organized meetings for 27 veterans opposed to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' with Sen. Brown's constituent services director in Boston; and we partnered with the Human Rights Campaign last May to sponsor a panel discussion at Faneuil Hall among five veterans in support of repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'
"We are pleased to have continued our history of delivering wins few thought possible with Sen. Brown's key vote today in favor of repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Since the law's implementation in 1993, it has weakened our national security with the unnecessary loss of critically skilled personnel, and done incalculable harm to the more than 14,000 servicemembers, and their families, discharged under the discriminatory law."
OutServe's JD Smith
"OutServe looks forward to the day that repeal of this law is signed by our Commander in Chief and the certification process is complete so we can all begin to serve openly and honestly. Certification must take place as soon as possible as gay and lesbian service members will be in limbo over the next few months. As the troops will interpret today's actions as an end in the policy, only a delay in certification will increase the lack of clarity among the ranks. "
Marriage Equality USA
This afternoon the U.S. Senate, with a vote of 65-31, joined the House in repealing DADT. President Obama has promised to sign and implement this historic and long overdue policy change, allowing LGB soldiers to stop having to lie about their sexual orientatiuon in order to stay in the military..
"Ding dong, don't ask, don't tell is dead! No more witch hunts, no more serving in fear, finally the beginning of the end of LGBT legal discrimination draws near," said Molly McKay, Marriage Equality USA Media Director. "This is a day to celebrate a long overdue victory - but it is also important to recognize that the journey to equality is just beginning. We appreciate the extra efforts of Congressional members to extend this simple gesture of kindness and dignity to the LGBT service members and their families just in time for Christmas and we are hopeful that they will continue the momentum to eliminate marriage discrimination so that their families can enjoy the same benefits and protections as all other military families."
Marriage Equality USA Military/Veteran's Community Liaison Tyson Redhouse states: "Today, our leadership stood on the right side of history and 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is on its way out after 17 years. Since the policy's enactment our nation has witnessed the discharges of over 14,000 men and women who took the Oath to stand up and serve their country. We've seen the military let thousands of specially-skilled servicemembers go, and we've seen many more endure the incredible stress of serving in silence. Today, we are seeing a great measure of hope given to those who have been impacted by this unjust and unnecessary policy. Don't Ask, Don't Tell cost this nation more than it should, and we are finally on the verge of seeing that ended. We now proceed on the path to repeal, a process which will take us into the New Year, a year that promises the systematic dissolution of the DADT policy. While this process moves forward, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) service members must hold tight. Today's vote is an active start. As we watch the repeal unfold we can rest assured that the passage of each day will allow those silent serving to stand a little taller and breathe a little easier. The voice of the people has been heard! We've waited for this day for so long and we now take time to celebrate a major step toward equality!"
Redhouse continued emotionally, "Today's events bring up a lot of emotions for me, personally. I served under DADT for eight years as an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Air Force and I understand the pressure of serving in silence. I remember having to keep layer upon layer of secrecy from almost everyone I knew. There were times I questioned myself because DADT essentially forced me to go against my core value of integrity; I sometimes wondered if I really belonged in the military. We servicemembers and veterans have endured so much for so long. To my fellow gay soldiers currently serving, and to their families, I want to say, 'Hang in there - the fight is almost done - keep your heads up. Hope is coming and I will be there to stand with you when this policy is gone.' "
"There are over 400 legal provisions related to marital status that grant benefits to active servicemembers' and veterans' spouses; including medical care, survivor and insurance benefits, notification and support services for families, educational and housing benefits, pensions and compensation for service-connected disabilities and deaths," said Davina Kotulski, author of Love Warriors: The Rise of the Marriage Equality Movement and Why It Will Prevail (October 2010). "The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is a significant milestone for gay soldiers and we are hopeful that Congress will act soon to eliminate the Federal DOMA and provide equal dignity and support to the families who have silently supported our country at the expense of their own families, who were unable to marry or to register as domestic partners because it violated Don't Ask, Don't Tell and would have expelled them from the military. I hope gay soldiers will come home and finally enjoy being able to declare and exercise the freedom to marry the ones they love."
Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-PA)
"Today, we close the books on the discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy that hurt our national security and ran counter to our American values. When I served in Baghdad with the 82nd Airborne Division, my team and I didn't care who someone was writing to back home. We cared if everyone could fire their assault rifle, kick down a door, and do their job so we could all come home alive.
Gay men and women are serving in our military. I served alongside them in Baghdad, and they continue fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to protect our families at home. With today's vote, we finally stop telling them that they have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love."
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, joined the LGBT community and its allies today in celebrating the congressional repeal of the military's discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.
After today's 65-31 Senate vote to repeal of the 17-year-old ban, the legislation moves to President Obama, who has said that he will sign the repeal into law.
"To deny brave men and women the ability to serve their country openly and honestly is to reject the fundamental American principles of fairness and equality for all," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "Today's vote, a reflection of the overwhelming majority of Americans who support the repeal, moves us one step closer to ending a ban which undermines our national security and has resulted in the loss of critical and skilled service members."
"As I heard the final vote count, relief swept over me and I felt like my eight years of service and sacrifice had finally been validated," said Sergeant Anthony Bustos. "Today's vote will not only strengthen our national security, it will also strengthen our nation's integrity."
Sergeant Anthony Bustos, a 25 year old native Texan, served eight years in the United States Army National Guard and completed two tours in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sergeant Bustos was officially discharged on December 9, 2010 under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. Sergeant Bustos worked with GLAAD prior to coming out on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer earlier this year
Faith In America
Faith in America applauds all the many organizations and individuals who have worked to bring about today's historic repeal of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.
"Today's vote in the U.S. Senate is a monumental achievement in the annals of the LGBT civil rights movements," said Faith in America Founder Mitchell Gold. "First, it means our gay service men and women can live their lives with the same human dignity as others. An incredible burden of inequality has been lifted from these men and women.
"Second, this effort signals the end of religion-based bigotry within one of largest and most revered institutions in our society. That is historic as well."
"Most importantly, today's vote sends a message to our gay youth that one of the largest institutions in our society considers them fully deserving of human dignity and equality. That is a powerful message, and one that all youth and their families need to hear."
Garden State Equality
Throughout the rest of our lifetimes, LGBT people across America, as well as our families and friends, will remember where we were today when we watched the U.S. Senate repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. We will remember today's repeal in the same way millions will always remember the great civil rights landmarks of the 1950s and 1960s - as an enduring milestone that reflects the promise of our nation and the very best of whom each of us in America can be.
Today's repeal is the strongest signal yet that our government will no longer tolerate discrimination in the official institutions of society. We are confident that will someday soon include the institution of marriage.
We thank you, the 82,000 members of Garden State Equality, who worked your hearts out to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, just like you work so tirelessly on every single other thing you do for our movement. You are incredible.
We thank our national organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Servicemembers United, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and so many others, for never giving up on the dream. We thank our servicewomen and men who have served our nation valiantly under the duress of living a lie imposed on them by our government. And we thank President Obama and the 111th U.S. Congress for this legacy to our nation forever.
Today, America is one giant step closer to liberty and justice for all.
Log Cabin Republicans
The United States Senate in a vote of 65 to 31 passed legislation, including 8 Republicans, which upon certification by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and the President, will end the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.
"This is an historic day, not just for gay and lesbian servicemembers, but for all Americans," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper and an out officer in the United States Army Reserve. "Today the Senate voted, with strong Republican support, to finally end a policy which has burdened our armed services for far too long, depriving our nation of the talent, training and hardwon battle experience of thousands of patriotic Americans. Soon, the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who sacrifice so much to defend our freedom will be able t o enjoy those same freedoms equally, without regard to sexual orientation. Log Cabin Republicans is proud to have played a role in this victory, and we thank our allies in Congress, without whom repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' would not have been possible."
"This is an historic moment. Like our closest allies, the United States' Armed Forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country," said Senator Susan Collins. "And, I agree with Defense Secretary Gates that it is critical that the issue is decided by Congress, not the courts."
"I have been in the military for 31 years and counting, and have served as a subordinate and as an officer," said Senator Scott Brown. "As a legislator, I have spent a significant amount of time on military issues. During my time of service, I have visited our injured troops at Walter Reed and have attended funerals of our fallen heroes. When a soldier answers the call to serve, and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight. My only concern has been whether their service and sacrifice is with pride and honor."
"I am pleased that the Senate voted today to end debate on the President's proposal to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and allow gay and lesbian service members to serve openly in the military. I intend to vote yes on repeal when that final vote comes to the Senate floor," said Senator Lisa Murkowski in advance of the Senate vote. "Our military leaders have made a compelling case that they can successfully implement Don't Ask, Don't Tell. It is infinitely preferable for Congress to repeal the law, and allow the service chiefs to develop and execute a new policy, than to invite a court-ordered reversal of the law with no allowance for a military-directed implementation. I've heard from Alaskans across the state who believe it's time to end this discriminatory policy, and I agree with them."
"I very carefully read the Joint Chiefs of Staff report and met at length with Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead," said Senator Mark Kirk. "Following their exhaustive and considered military judgment, I support the Joint Chief's recommendation to implement the repeal of the current policy once the battle effectiveness of the forces is certified and proper preparations are complete. The legislation before us provides our military leaders with the time they requested to change the policy. Without this legislation, Admiral Roughead warned that courts, like California's federal courts, would issue further confusing stop and start orders to our military, causing chaos in our military recruitment and retention programs. In the end, the Constitution charges the Congress with setting military policy and the Executive branch with implementing it. The legislation containing the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will remove the various orders of conflicting and uncertain court litigation from our military, allowing uniformed leaders to once again effectively manage our national defense. As a 21-year Navy Reserve officer, I believe it is important for military leaders, not federal judges, to run our armed forces."
"After careful analysis of the comprehensive report compiled by the Department of Defense and thorough consideration of the testimony provided by the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the service chiefs, I support repeal of the 'don't ask, don't tell' law," Senator Olympia Snowe said in a statement on December 15th.
Republican senators supporting repeal include:
- Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA)
- Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
- Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
- Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
- Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH)
Log Cabin Republicans have maintained a three-front strategy against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' lobbying for repeal in Congress, consulting with the Department of Defense, and filing suit in federal court. The case went to trial in July of 2010, and Judge Virginia Phillips ruled on September 9, 2010 that the policy violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.
Admiral Mike Mullen: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
"I am pleased to see the Congress vote to repeal the law governing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Handling this through legislation preserves the military's prerogative to implement change in a responsible, deliberate manner.
"More critically, it is the right thing to do. No longer will able men and women who want to serve and sacrifice for their country have to sacrifice their integrity to do so. We will be a better military as a result.
"I look forward to working with Secretary Gates and the Service chiefs as we set about the task of preparing and certifying the joint force to implement the new law. And I am committed to making sure that process is well-led, maintains our combat readiness and upholds our high standards."
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
"I welcome today's vote by the Senate clearing the way for a legislative repeal of the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' law.
"Once this legislation is signed into law by the President, the Department of Defense will immediately proceed with the planning necessary to carry out this change carefully and methodically, but purposefully. This effort will be led by Dr. Clifford Stanley, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and himself a retired Marine Corps major general and infantry officer.
"The legislation provides that repeal will take effect once the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that implementation of the new policies and regulations written by the Department is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces. As I have stated before, I will approach this process deliberately and will make such certification only after careful consultation with the military service chiefs and our combatant commanders and when I am satisfied that those conditions have been met for all the Services, commands and units.
"It is therefore important that our men and women in uniform understand that while today's historic vote means that this policy will change, the implementation and certification process will take an additional period of time. In the meantime, the current law and policy will remain in effect.
"Successful implementation will depend upon strong leadership, a clear message and proactive education throughout the force. With a continued and sustained commitment to core values of leadership, professionalism and respect for all, I am convinced that the U.S. military can successfully accommodate and implement this change, as it has others in history."
American Foundation for Equal Rights President Chad Griffin
"Today's vote to end the egregious and discriminatory Don't Ask, Don't Tell law is a major victory for the millions of patriotic gay and lesbian Americans who have and who continue to serve their country honorably. This historic vote is also a victory for the principles on which our nation was founded: all Americans are equal under the law and no one should be subject to discrimination.
"Today it further evidence that the fight for equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans, which has historically been seen as a partisan issue is increasingly becoming bipartisan. Just as conservative Ted Olson and liberal David Boies came together in the fight for marriage equality, we are glad to see that the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell had strong bipartisan support, and that Republican Senators Brown, Burr, Ensign, Kirk, Voinovich, Collins, Murkowski and Snowe and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman worked alongside their Democratic colleagues to end this unfair policy and to take a stand for human rights.
"Finally, we want to congratulate and thank the Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund, Human Rights Campaign, Center for American Progress, Lt. Dan Choi and the many others who fought long and hard to close this cruel chapter of government-sanctioned discrimination. The American Foundation for Equal Rights will continue its work to ensure all Americans are treated equally and share the same fundamental constitutional rights."
Statement from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
"As the President has long said, ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the military, will strengthen our national security while upholding the basic equality on which this nation was founded. The President looks forward to signing the bill into law."
Transgender American Veterans Association
We are proud of our democracy that Congress passed this monumental repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Even though transgender people are still going to be separated from military service, Transgender American Veterans Association salutes this passage. We who have served our nation proudly now anticipate our own progress to freedom and equality.
Monica Helms, President of TAVA said, "For 17 years the US has made their gay lesbian and bisexual service members second class citizens and caused them to have to lie about who they are and who they love. No longer will that be the case. We now turn our attention to allowing transgender people to serve openly."
"It should be recognized that DADT has never included directives concerning Transgender people serving in the military." Angela Brightfeather, TAVA's Vice President stated, "Therefore, there was no call from Transgender Americans to equally serve in the military of their country, without persecution and discrimination. However, Transgender people who have and still do serve under the same pre-DADT conditions, still find it necessary to lie and hide who they are, contrary to the best traditions of the military. We now press our GLB brothers and sisters to finish the job and help provide the means for Transgender people to be able to serve their country openly and equally as do all Americans."
Many of America's allied nations have long since allowed open transgender service along with the service of those with alternate sexual orientation. The next frontier is for the United States is to progress to full and complete inclusion of the right to serve our nation. It is TAVA's expectation that now that DADT has been repealed that all those involved in achieving the repeal will now turn their attention to help transgender Americans also be able serve openly.