Andrew Sullivan once wrote, in a heated blog post, (and I paraphrase) that equality for LGBT Americans is not a partisan issue. It is a human rights issue. His fervor gave me clarity and his observation stuck with me. So today, I’ll take it a step further because we are facing a symbolic moment in the journey towards equality.
Congress will be voting on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the next 48 hours. I’m asking my friends and family to call Capitol Hill and let their Representative know they SUPPORT LEGISLATIVE REPEAL in 2010. The phone number is (202) 225-3121. If you’re not sure what to say, you can take suggestions from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund here. You can also find out if your Member supports the legislation here.
Why do it? Too often do homophobic policies find their ways into national politics, making it difficult for people of all ages living in small towns, big cities and rural areas of America to live their lives fully and openly. They are paralyzed by fear of political and social retribution for being who they are. I know because it happened to me.
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell(DADT) was a policy introduced under the Clinton Administration. In short, it prohibits any gay or bisexual servicemember from discussing their sexual orientation. That includes any casual mention of a relationship, a family, you get the picture. Apparently it creates an “unacceptable risk” to the morale, good order and discipline of our military.
One of President Obama’s campaign promises was to repeal DADT, a policy that has since made it difficult to retain qualified servicemembers. As stated by Dr. Larry Korb, a former national security advisor and Senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington,
“…the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy continues to undermine their efforts to attract qualified men and women. Moreover, since its enactment, this outmoded law has cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of service men and women who were working to keep our country safe.”
For details on the March: Meet at Farragut Square at 2:00PM EST. You will then walk over to the White House and gather in Lafayette Park.
Good luck and have fun! I would be there on the group with my gear but your little sister only graduates from high school once. 🙂
Wow, Kim. Though we’ve never met, I have to tell you. Speaking at the rally took balls.
Today, as any day, we need to be indifferent to the uninformed judgement that being gay might bring – and encouraged by the fact that our nation, gay and straight, are organizing against the passage of Prop 8. This is the kind of conversation we need to keep on having, until all of our rights, from Medicare to Marriage to the Military, are equal.
My name is Erica Anderson, and I’m gay and I want the rights, the same 1,069 federal marriage rights and the same equality for those who defend our nation, that others have. It is really as simple as that.