Statement by Vice President Joe Biden on the 9th Anniversary of the Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Nine years ago, our nation took a big step toward justice, fairness, and equality by repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

I was proud to work with President Obama, members of Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the military services, and the advocacy community to end this discriminatory policy. And I remain proud today to stand with the LGBTQ+ community in their tireless pursuit of equality and human rights.

Generations of Americans, many of them LGBTQ+, have shed blood around the world in defense of our freedoms and to protect U.S. vital interests. But instead of honoring them, President Trump denigrates their sacrifice, calling our fallen service members ‘losers’ and ‘suckers.’ He’s made clear he has no commitment to, or sense of, service, and no loyalty to any cause other than himself. Rather than put the national security interest of our country first, Trump reversed the Obama-Biden administration efforts to allow transgender personnel the right to serve and protect our nation. As president, I will direct the Department of Defense to allow transgender service members to serve openly, receive needed medical treatment, and be free from discrimination.

Duty, honor, country — those are the values that drive our service members. And if I have the privilege of serving as the next commander in chief, I will ensure that our American heroes know I will have their back and honor their sacrifice — always, no matter who they are or who they love.