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A Blog by Gary Wright II

SLDN Urges President to Address "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Because of the pending legal action of my case, I can not comment on it other than the short paragraph that was prepared by my legal experts.

Thanks for all of your letters, prayers, and support!

SLDN Urges President to Address "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Tomorrow Night

Senate Majority Leader Encourages President to Act

Washington, D.C. - In the wake of the frustration, and in some quarters ire, of the LGBT community at how the Obama Administration is handling public policy issues that affect our lives, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network encourages the President to set forth his plan and timeline tomorrow for repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"There is no need to run from the issue of gays in the military anymore," said Aubrey Sarvis, SLDN executive director. "This is not 1993. The American public, including 58 percent of conservatives, overwhelmingly supports repeal, as are the younger generation of military leaders. They understand firing someone because of their sexual orientation is not only flat wrong but harms national security. It won't be easy to replace Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, a highly decorated F-15E Aviator who has given 18 years of his life to serving this country."

The President should publicly endorse legislation (The Military Readiness Enhancement Act) that ends "Don't Ask, Don' Tell" and replaces it with a policy of nondiscrimination. Or, he should put his campaign rhetoric into writing by drafting his own legislation outlining precisely how to end DADT.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today encouraged the President to send a repeal bill to Congress.

"We [the Senate] would welcome a legislative proposal from the White House on repeal so as to provide clear guidance on what the president would like to see and when. With presidential leadership and direction, I believe we can find the time to get repeal done in this Congress. We need all the troops we can get right now."

The end goal -- the ultimate prize -- is to undo the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law that discriminates against gays and lesbians and harms our national security. In our 16-year history as a legal organization, SLDN has consistently advocated repeal of the DADT law in Congress. Full repeal is the only permanent fix for all gay and lesbian service members.

"President Obama has a critical role in how and when this legislative objective is achieved," said Sarvis. "Congress typically defers to the President on military personnel matters (of which DADT is a part)."

Achieving repeal must be done in a measured, strategic and smart way. But this does not mean there is time for indecision or inaction. The sense of urgency is real. More than 250 service members have been fired by the President since January and hundreds more have left the services because of the DADT law.

-- Gary Wright II

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