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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Quigley Attends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Bill Signing

Dec 22, 2010
Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Today, Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05) attended President Obama's ceremonial bill signing of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy with Navy veteran and Chicago LGBT activist Lee Reinhart.

"The President's signature signals a great victory for equality, civil rights, and our national security," said Quigley.  "It was a privilege and an honor to be there with so many who championed the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," including those that will now be able to serve their country openly and honestly."

Reinhart earned the Navy Marine Corp Achievement medal for his naval service during the 1990s, but soon after reenlisting in the Coast Guard following the events of September 11, 2001, he was discharged because of his sexual orientation.

Yesterday, Quigley and Reinhart visited the grave of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, who served in the Vietnam War, and earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, but was discharged because he was gay.  His tombstone at Congressional Cemetery reads, "When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men, and a discharge for loving one."

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Rep. Mike Quigley and Navy veteran Lee Reinhart lay an American flag at the tombstone of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich to commemorate the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

The ceremony was held at the Department of the Interior.  Last week, Quigley spoke on the House floor, invoking the memory of Sgt. Matlovich in his support to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

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