Andrea James

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Calpernia and I went to an event last night for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group seeking to lift the ban on gays in the military by repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

New Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis was on hand to discuss the initiative to lobby the legislature.

One statement by Aubrey that really stood out:

By law, one branch of the government is required to discriminate in a way that would be prosecuted if perpetrated at any other branch.

He sees this as a straight-up civil rights issue that will require the same kind of bipartisan support that led to civil rights gains in the 1960s. There’s currently a lawsuit moving forward regarding the constitutionality of the ban. One of the plaintiffs, David Hall, was at the event. He was in an elite Air Force training program when he was ratted out by a classmate. He had the highest ranking of all the Air Force ROTC juniors in his detachment when he was forced out, and the man he was seeing, another top cadet, was also discharged.

Since this issue will not be resolved via executive order, we can’t just hope for the next president to be forward-thinking. It’s going to take years of lobbying to get the votes on both sides of the aisle in the legislature. That needs to happen while the cases move forward.

For more information on SLDN’s work on behalf of over 11,000 servicemembers discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” including critical personnel in Arabic languages and top cadets like David Hall, please visit the SLDN site. Two people a day are being fired under this misguided policy.

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