A year ago today, we upheld the fundamental American values of fairness and equality by finally and formally repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Gay and lesbian Americans now no longer need to hide who they love in order to serve the country they love. It is a testament to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform that this change was implemented in an orderly manner, preserving unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness. As Commander in Chief, I’ve seen that our national security has been strengthened because we are no longer denied the skills and talents of those patriotic Americans who happen to be gay or lesbian. The ability of service members to be open and honest about their families and the people they love honors the integrity of the individuals who serve, strengthens the institutions they serve, and is one of the many reasons why our military remains the finest in the world.

Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, the GOP’s nominee to face Obama in November’s presidential election, supported the policy and spoke out against attempts to repeal the law. A request from the Romney campaign for comment on the DADT repeal implementation anniversary by GA Voice has gone unanswered.

A recent academic study conducted by the University of California’s Palm Center found that the repeal of DADT had no negative impact on military readiness, cohesion, recruitment or morale. The study goes on to state that repeal has actually been beneficial for the armed services, as “DADT repeal has enhanced the military’s ability to pursue its mission.”

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