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PSA #1 - Long

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Cyndi Lauper

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Repeal "Don't

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The Price of Service

Even though they sacrifice their lives to protect our country and uphold freedom and democracy across the globe…

Even though they serve our country with honor, courage and integrity…

Even though legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has finally been passed…

Gay, lesbian and bisexual members of the military must still lie about who they are.

And we still need to give a damn.

More work to be done

There are more than 70,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual service members in the military. For 17 long years under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” these brave men and women have had to hide who they are to avoid being discharged from the military.

Thankfully, because Americans like you gave a damn, legislation to dismantle this discriminatory law has finally been passed.

But there is still much work to be done.

That’s because—even though Congress has passed the standalone “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bill, and the President has signed it into law—full repeal can’t happen until the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have certified that they’ve prepared the necessary policies to ensure that military readiness, effectiveness, cohesion, recruiting and retention won’t be affected by repeal.

And even after certification, 60 more days have to pass before repeal can take place.

Imagine being told that, even though a law is clearly wrong and discriminatory, and even though Congress has voted to overturn that law, you have to keep waiting—with no set timeline—before the government will do away with it completely.

Imagine being willing to die for your country—and knowing that your country, meanwhile, has to prepare policies that will ensure your mere presence won’t somehow harm military readiness and troop morale.

Uncertainty and fear remain

We must continue to give a damn.

We must continue to give a damn, because troops are still in danger of being fired, just for being gay, and uncertainty and fear in the ranks remain.

We must continue to give a damn, because transgender service members will still be prohibited from serving in the military after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed.

And we need to keep giving a damn because, let’s face it: A single repeal law can’t immediately erase 17 years of the military’s mindset. It won’t guarantee that gay service members will be treated fairly, get equal opportunities for promotions and receive similar benefits.

It’s time for the government to finish its certification process and abolish “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for good. It’s time for our military to do what so many other countries have already done: Allow open service and equal treatment, where everyone is held accountable to a common standard of conduct.

It’s time for things to change.

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Visit our nonprofit partners’ websites; they’re experts on the military.  They can provide you a ton of additional resources and ways to get involved:

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  • Why I Give a Damn

    My name is Tex. I'm a 35-year old gay professional who lives in South Carolina. I struggled with my sexuality most of my life. I can ...

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