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“DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL” SENATE VOTE POSSIBLE TODAY

Dec 09th, 2010 12:12 PM By

According to ABC News:

DamnAlert“The Senate today could vote on the proposed repeal of the military’s controversial ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, but its outcome hinges on talks between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and a handful of Republicans whose support for repeal depends on procedural agreements.

“Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, has said she will back the annual defense authorization bill that includes a repeal of the policy on gays serving openly. However, she has warned that her support is contingent on Reid agreeing to ‘a fair process’ of debate.

“‘Sen. Joe Lieberman and I continue to negotiate in good faith with the Majority Leader to try and come up with a fair process under which the important defense authorization bill could be considered in the limited time remaining in this session. Without a fair process, the motion to proceed to the bill would likely fail in the U.S. Senate,’ Collins said in a statement on Wednesday night.

“The Maine lawmaker is not alone in her stance. GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski has said she too will support the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” after reading the recent Pentagon report on the policy, but only if an agreement can be reached to allow Republicans to offer a sufficient number of amendments.”

Read the full ABC News story >>

getinvolved

Call the Capitol Switchboard now and urge your senators to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before the end of the current lame duck session. The lines are open 24 hours a day.

(202) 224-3121

If you need to know the name of your senators, just tell the operator where you live and ask them to connect you to your senators’ offices.

When the staffer picks up, tell them your name and where you’re calling from. Then say:

  • I’m calling to tell the senator that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” must end BEFORE you leave and the new Congress takes over.

Most calls end right there, but if you’d like, you can add your personal reasons for opposing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Hang up and call your other senator’s office.

You can also take action through our friends at:

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Brothers and Sisters

Dec 01st, 2010 11:59 PM By Fourniadis

The notion that heterosexuals are the only people who deserve the blessings of liberty is an arcane notion which has no business being considered in this day and age.

I am straight, and I don’t think I or anyone else should feel threatened by open and honest displays of affection by anyone.

My marriage is not in jeopardy when gay people get married and soldiers who perform their commission admirably should not be singled out for dismissal simply because they are gay.

Let’s get together for the equality that our Constitution guarantees and do something that will make future generations proud.

Please no second class citizenship for anyone.

My Family is Fighting for Your Family!

Nov 30th, 2010 05:23 PM By Jennifer

I am a mother and wife. I am also straight. My husband serves in the military. He doesn’t have to fear losing his job for sharing his life with me. These are not rights that we had to fight for and I don’t believe that these are rights that others should be denied. Being straight does not make me a better partner or parent. Being straight doesn’t make my husband more qualified to fight for our country. I just want people to have the same rights as me regardless of who they choose to love.

Everyone deserves the right to have a family! Everyone deserves the right to choose who they marry. Everyone deserves the right to hold their child for the first time. These are experiences that I have been lucky enough to have the right to have and I think it is time that everyone gets to have those rights too.

PENTAGON REPORT SHOWS STRONG MAJORITY OF TROOPS OK WITH GAYS SERVING OPENLY

Nov 30th, 2010 03:47 PM By

The following is an excerpt from a story by CNN:

“Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday the long awaited Pentagon report on the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy indicates that over two-thirds of service members do not object to gays and lesbians serving openly in the U.S. armed forces.

“Putting an end to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ would have ’some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention,’ the year-long study found, but the effects would not be long-lasting or widespread.

“There will be some strong minority opposition, particularly in the Marines and some combat arms specialist units, said the chairs of the study, Defense Department General Counsel Jeh C. Johnson and Army Gen. Carter F. Ham.

“As many as 40 to 60 percent of troops in those units were against changing the 17-year-old policy that lets gay and lesbian troops serve as long as their sexual orientation is secret.

“Overall opposition throughout the military was about 30 percent — roughly the same as it is in America as a whole, according to recent findings from CNN/Opinion Research Corp. and the Pew Forum.

“Top administration and military officials are briefing the Senate on Tuesday on the results of the Pentagon review.

“Johnson told members of Congress on Tuesday that he thought ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ could be repealed even while the United States is at war, sources said.

“The Pentagon believes that the study is ‘the largest, most comprehensive review of a personnel policy matter which the Department of Defense has ever undertaken,’ a defense official close to the process said.

“More than nine out of 10 troops said their unit’s ability to work with someone they thought was gay or lesbian was very good, good, or neither good nor bad.

Read the full CNN story >>

getinvolved

Call the Capitol Switchboard now and urge your senators to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before the end of the current lame duck session. The lines are open 24 hours a day.

(202) 224-3121

If you need to know the name of your senators, just tell the operator where you live and ask them to connect you to your senators’ offices.

When the staffer picks up, tell them your name and where you’re calling from. Then say:

  • I’m calling to tell the senator that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” must end BEFORE you leave and the new Congress takes over.

Most calls end right there, but if you’d like, you can add your personal reasons for opposing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Hang up and call your other senator’s office.

You can also take action through our friends at:

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Another Voice…

Nov 30th, 2010 11:16 AM By christopher

It’s all over the news these days, everyone is talking about it, from the halls of the White House and Congress to the small town coffee shops. Gays in the military and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” We see the images of the headliners who have dedicated their cases to the public eye so that others can be aware. Yet there are others. Others who have faced that same fate, and no one has ever heard the story. I am one of those stories. I am one of those voices.

I first knew I was gay in junior high school. Growing up in the South, there aren’t a lot of “gay” role models, and what you did hear about gay and lesbian people was definitely not positive. In high school, I began to explore my sexuality, like many young men. I was, as others describe it, “victimized” by an older man, which ultimately lead to my mother finding out. She did not handle it well, I tried to explain that I knew what I was doing, and I was in fact… gay. She refused this explanation and after an embarrassing forced trip to the health department for a battery of blood tests she finally told me, “I made you, and I’ll take you out. I’ll see you dead before I see you live like that!”
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Quiet Activism

Nov 30th, 2010 11:08 AM By C

I give a damn. However, I am forced to give a damn quietly.

I a currently a member of the United States Army National Guard, and I have been serving since 2004. I have worked in different jobs that the Guard has seen fit to train me in. I was mobilized in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina tore through Louisiana to help my fellow Americans. I was deployed in 2009 to Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom. I was asked to re-enlist after satisfactory service after my initial six year contract. I also happen to be a homosexual.

I wish I could share more of myself in this story, but like many other men and women who serve quietly and in hiding in the military I cannot. I joined the armed forces for many reasons when I was much younger, and perhaps a lot more naive – but even then I know who and what was. Looking back, some of those reasons were foolish and wildly misplaced, but the most important ones were not. I never had a brother, or a male figure to look up to, but when I joined the military I found myself becoming a part of the nation’s largest fraternity, perhaps the world’s, and I found myself finally having brothers. And for a while it was good, and I was very happy.
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Following Family Tradition

Nov 30th, 2010 11:04 AM By Mark Alan Smith

When I was young, I remember seeing a picture of my father standing underneath a palm tree wearing his white sailor uniform. When I asked where the photo had been taken, he replied, “The South Pacific, during the Korean War”. My father had served, just like his father before him. My grandfather was the captain of a naval ship during WWII. However, my grandfather never came home. His ship was hit and he went down with his ship with the rest of his crew, like all good captains were trained to do. And my older brother served in the USCG (United States Coast Guard). The military was a family tradition, but I never thought about joining. The reason I never thought about joining was because I was gay. But, after several failed attempts at making it own my own, I opted to join the service and follow in my grandfather and father’s footsteps. I joined, then went home that very same day and told my father what I had done.

I was excited to tell my father the good news. But, there was a kind of sadness in his voice as well. Happy I had joined, yet very concerned for my well being. He knew I was gay from the time I graduated high school. When asked why I joined. I simply told him that I needed some kind of direction in my life and felt the Navy might just be the way to go. So I joined. Then after three weeks of preparing to leave, I was on my way to Orlando for bootcamp. I made it through bootcamp with flying colors. My father came to my graduation and was very, very proud, that his gay son was now a sailor.
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I Served

Nov 29th, 2010 11:27 PM By Joshua

I am a US Navy Veteran; and to see a country that does not allow equal rights for all just makes me very sad. I thought I was in the military to “defend freedom and democracy…” and for me to be living in the country I fought for and there not be equal rights for all makes me wonder why I served in the first place. In the NOH8 photo shoot I choose to where my culinary uniform because I am now a Master Chef in training. Just like in the kitchen where you combine many different ingredients to make one beautiful dish; so too should our country allow us to “combine” with one another to make one beautiful thing no matter how different we are or who we love. I GIVE A DAMN!

-Joshua
US Navy Honorable Discharge Veteran & Future Master Chef

Closet Service

Nov 29th, 2010 11:25 PM By Kurtis

I joined the Navy just out of high school at the age of 17. I knew who I was and what I was but living in a small town in Texas and wanting MORE for my life, I decided the Navy was the way to get out.

For just over 10 years I served in the US Navy and had an INCREDIBLE enlistment. Constantly receiving 4.0 evaluations and being picked for some pretty terrific duty. I was selected to serve on the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee. When I was a Second Class Petty Officer, I was nominated by my command and ultimately selected to fill a position normally filled by a Chief Petty Officer in Munich, Germany. Even in the beginning, during boot camp I was singled out to be a Division Yeoman. At each and every assignment I was given, I succeeded and got the job done.

There were questions about my sexuality from some while I was in. So I did what many did, I got married. I married another service member and while I lied to her for the 7 years we were married, she and I remain close to this day. She is probably my best friend. We had a daughter and my daughter has made me a grandfather. I will NEVER regret my marriage but I could have hurt someone very much. FORTUNATELY, my ex-wife doesn’t blame me for what I did. I WAS LUCKY!
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Too Many Friends Lost

Nov 29th, 2010 11:21 PM By Thomas

I have been in the U.S. Navy for two years now, and the whole time, from enlistment to today, I have known that I am bi, and my closest friends and family back home have known that I am bi.

While in my “A” school, which happened to be in Florida, I met a lot of other GLBT service members, and became friends with a lot of them. We all knew about each other, as did a lot of our other “straight” friends. Nobody had a problem with it.

There was a gay bar out in town, and we went there a few times a month (usually the weekends after payday) and we’d all just go and hang out. It was a great place where we could be ourselves with no repercussions.

Then they decided to send some MP’s into the club… It was on a non-payday weekend, so me and my friends weren’t there… And they took out fourteen military members. Eight Marines, six Sailors. All had charges brought against them, and all were kicked out. We were all less likely to go there again… We were scared, because even though we weren’t telling anyone, so to speak, we were still able to get in trouble. Just by finding a place to be ourselves. I give a damn for those Marines and Sailors who got dropped for no reason other than being at a gay club.

I give a damn because it could have been my friends. I give a damn because it could have been me.

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    Sexual orientation has nothing to do with how well a service member performs his or her job. But under the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, being openly gay can be cause for discharge from the military.

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