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Gay Community Responds to Obama’s Pledge on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Most Americans who listened to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address Wednesday night focused on the points of job creation, the federal deficit, and healthcare. But a few sentences on a policy that has been in place since 1993 caused a mixed reaction from one community. KSMU’s Matt Evans has more.

Many members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender, or GLBT community were thrilled Wednesday night when they heard President Obama pledge to work with Congress and the military to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prevents openly gay Americans from serving in the military. Teresa Hornsby is openly gay and the faculty advisor for a Drury University student organization that promotes equality for the gay and lesbian community. She says she’s glad Obama addressed the subject, but isn’t sure how he plans to carry out his goal.

“He threw it out there, but I’m just not sure how well thought out it is; if he even has a plan on how to make it happen. It’ll be interesting.”

She says she also wishes it would have been given more prominence in his speech.

“He kind of, I would say, buried it. Not buried it, but kind of surrounded it with the parts of his speech where we should support the troops and strengthening the military and things like that. So he surrounded it in some very safe things that he knew people could get behind.”

You can view the text of Obama’s speech at npr.org.

For KSMU News, I’m Matt Evans.