Murray, Cantwell hail end of Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell

Source: Seattle PI

Sen. Patty Murray voted for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, but she has since come one of Congress’ leading advocates for marriage equality and the right of gays and lesbians to serve in the military.

On  Tuesday, Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.,  hailed the official demise of the military’s "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" rule.

"Today finally marks the end of DADT: Our service members will no longer have to lie in order to serve the country they love," Murray said in a Twitter message.

Murray and Cantwell were a force for repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in Congress’ lame duck session last December.  The rule, enacted in the Clinton administration, forced 13,000 men and women out of the armed forces during its 17 year history.

"Beginning today, no other individual committed to serving his or her country in the military will lose his or her job due to their sexual orientation," Cantwell said in a statement.

Cantwell praised two Washington women instrumental in challenging the ban, retired Lt. Col. Grethe Cammermeyer and Air Force Major Margaret Witt.  Once chief nurse of the Washington National Guard, Cammermeyer challenged the military’s ban on gays two decades ago, and wrote the best-seller "Serving in Silence."

Witt mounted a recent federal court suit that helped provide impetus for Congress decision to repeal DADT.