Richardson Calls for Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy

Released: March 15, 2007

SANTA FE, NM - New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today called on Congress to repeal the US Military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" regarding homosexuality. The Governor also repeated his reaction to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace's remarks that homosexuality is "immoral". The Governor issued this statement:

"I do not believe that homosexuality is immoral, and I believe Congress should repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' I voted against it when I served in Congress. People should not be judged based on their sexual orientation. Throughout my entire career I have fought for equal rights and against discrimination of any kind.

While others talk about doing the right thing, on my watch in New Mexico we've made significant progress. I support civil unions or domestic partnerships, and as Governor I have passed hate crime legislation. I also supported and signed legislation extending civil rights protections based on sexual orientation, and I ordered that access to health insurance and benefits be extended to the domestic partners of state employees.