Shortly after Senate Republicans and two Democrats blocked a vote to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Sen. Al Franken gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor.
Franken (D-MN) told a story about one of his trips to entertain the troops when he was a comedian, and started to choke up over the people who told him they were gay. You can watch him get emotional as he tells the story below.
Franken said the year was 2006 and it came at a time when the military had a tough time recruiting. He said they gave waivers for just about everything at the time.
“If you ask every man and woman on that base, who would you rather have standing to your right, standing to your left, that gay man or that gay woman who has been serving with you the last year, or somebody comes in here with a moral waiver and those troops who had moral waivers, many of them served very honorably and bravely, or some with a cognitive waiver, many of those flourished in the military and are doing great things,” Franken said.
He added: “All gay and lesbian service members want to be able to serve. Instead, people are getting kicked out of the military. People who don’t need any moral waiver, people who don’t need standards lowered for them in order to serve. People who are patriotic and courageous and who have vital, irreplaceable skills.”
Franken said the ban “makes no sense.”
“It is foolish, it is unjust and we must end it,” he said.
Read his statement in full here.