For Immediate Release
Vaishalee Raja, Communications Director
PHONE: (916) 284-9187
Equality California Urges President Obama to Repeal DADT Immediately
SAN FRANCISCO - Equality
California called on President Obama to immediately end the
discriminatory federal policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” after
the President reiterated his commitment to repeal DADT in his State of
the Union address.
President Obama reiterating his commitment to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t
Tell, but words do not end discrimination – actions do,” said Equality
California Executive Director Geoff Kors. “We call on President Obama
to immediately cease discharging openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender service members and to take a stand for equality in the
military. Thousands of LGBT service members have bravely served our
nation, and they deserve the same protections as all Americans. We urge
President Obama and Congress to act swiftly to overturn this
sponsored a resolution introduced by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San
Diego) that calls on the United States Congress to pass and President
Barack Obama to immediately sign the Military Readiness Enhancement
Act, which would end the unfair policy and allow gay, lesbian and
bisexual Americans to serve openly in the armed forces. The resolution
recently passed the State Assembly Judiciary Committee and is now on
the Assembly floor.
"Don't Ask, Don't
Tell" was first authorized in 1994. Since that time, more than 13,500
service members have been discharged under the policy, including more
than 800 specialists serving in 'critical operations,' such as
counterintelligence, medicine, and translation. According to a General
Accounting Office report, 323 language specialists have been
discharged, resulting in a critical shortage of qualified translators
in intelligence gathering posts. Currently, 186 members of the U.S.
House have signed on as co-sponsors to the Military Readiness
Enhancement Act, which would repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and replace
it with a policy of non-discrimination across the armed forces. Last
year, 77 members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama
requesting he immediately suspend discharges under the discriminatory
More than 24 other nations
currently allow gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals to serve openly
in their militaries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, alongside
whom American forces have served in combat. Recent public opinion polls
show that a majority of both the American public and active service
members believe the policy should be overturned and that gay and
lesbian Americans should be allowed to serve openly in the military.
To find out more information about EQCA's legislation, visit http://www.eqca.org/
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Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to achieve equality and civil rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians.