“Tonight, in his State of the Union speech, President Obama asked Congress to repeal the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. I applaud him on taking an important step and for recognizing that patriotic LGBT Americans can serve their country as well as all others.

“I urge Congress to immediately vote to repeal this unnecessary and harmful policy. Congress should join Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Shalikashvili, USA (Ret.), and more than 100 retired admirals and generals who support repeal. This policy has forced out more than 13,500 brave LGBT men and women from serving in our armed forces. These citizens should be respected for who they are, as they volunteered to put their lives on the line to serve and protect our great nation.

“I look forward to working with the New York Congressional delegation in asking other members of Congress to pass this measure quickly.”