NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy officially ended at midnight Tuesday. The 18-year-old policy prevented homosexuals or bi-sexuals from openly serving in the United States Armed Forces.
A protest organized by GetEqual Virginia, occurred Tuesday morning at the intersection of Hampton Boulevard and Terminal Boulevard in Norfolk. GetEQUAL Virginia is a group striving for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender equality.
While GetEQUAL Virginia leaders consider the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell a victory and a significant step in their fight, they still say the repeal is simply not enough.
“GetEQUAL Virginia supports the repeal of DADT. We support those that fought hard for its repeal. We are, however, tired of the piecemeal legislation that is handed out in Washington, D.C. to appease the LGBT community,” said Beth Brooker, a state organizer for GetEQUAL Virginia.
They say they demand a complete social equality for all members of the LGBT community, immediately.
Governor Tim Kaine released the following statement Tuesday:
“Today is a great day for our military and our country. Going forward, those who bravely agree to serve our country will no longer have to fear discharge based on their sexual orientation. The implementation process has been a testament to the extraordinary professionalism of our men and women in uniform, as well as their leadership.
“This repeal doesn’t give any special rights or privileges to gay service members, it merely gives them what they asked for and deserved all along: to be treated the same as everyone else. Equality is a founding principle of this nation and the ability to serve one’s country should never be conditioned on sexual orientation, gender, race, religious belief or any other characteristic. I am proud that my first act as Governor protected state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and I am just as proud to support today’s DADT repeal.
“Our troops and our military families have been asked to shoulder a heavy burden in recent years and we are all appreciative of their continued sacrifices in defense of our nation. I am humbled and thankful for their service. As a U.S. Senator I will ensure that our commitment to them is worthy of their sacrifice.”