Monday, May 24, 2010

Virginia Military Women Ask Webb to Help Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell

A coalition of military women in Virginia has asked Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) to lead the fight to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a law that clearly discriminates against gay people and is almost certainly unconstitutional (though not with this particular Jurrassic-era Supreme Court).

Advocates have for overturning the policy have been working to muster the 15 votes needed on the Senate Armed Services Committee to include repeal as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act 2011.

Here’s some of the text of the letter to Webb:

“We are military women who believe in having the strongest military possible. It is for that reason that we write to urge you to support the repeal of the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law this year. For the sake of all of our men and women in uniform, the time for repeal is now.

“Though we come from different backgrounds, we are all Virginians, we all served, and many of us studied at our nation’s service academies. But our common thread as women reminds us of the challenges we faced during the debate to allow our service in combat roles. Before that many of the same arguments were made against allowing African Americans to serve. Otherwise reasonable people believed that denying these groups of patriotic Americans the right to serve was in the best interest of the military. Now, we hear the very same arguments against allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly. Those arguments are as unfounded and misguided today as they were generations ago.

“There is no evidence that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly will harm unit cohesion, just as there was no evidence that allowing women and minorities to serve would do so. To the contrary, we have seen from our own experiences that it is dishonesty that hurts unit cohesion – not the sexual orientation of our brothers- and sisters-in-arms. Poll after poll shows that the attitudes of today’s service members have changed and they care more about whether their fellow service members do their jobs, not if they happen to be gay or lesbian.

"Further, the American public is with them--75 percent support repealing DADT and allowing gays and lesbians to serve with integrity, openly and honestly.

“We are counting on you, Senator Webb, to stand on the right side of history. Stand on the side of integrity and support legislation to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year.”

Nicely stated, I'd say.
(Photo from Gryphmom's Grumbles.)