The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Brad Luna 202/216.1514
Trevor Thomas 202/216.1547

Grassroots Activists Gather to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, HRC, alongside lesbian, gay, and straight service members, to hold press conference


Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, U.S. Rep.
Patrick Murphy (D-PA), alongside lesbian, gay and straight veterans of
the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, will hold a press conference on March 4, 2010,
in coordination with a swell of average Americans fighting for repealof
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell(DADT). The event is timed with HRC's annual
spring Lobby Day where more than 300 members and supporters are
expected to participate.

week, HRC launched a national action alert and announced details of its
ongoing campaign to repeal the law that hurts military readiness and
national security while putting American soldiers fighting overseas at
risk. Focusing on key states where congressional support for repeal is
critical, HRC dispatched field staff to five states - Florida, Indiana,
Nebraska, Virginia and West Virginia, with other states to follow in
the months ahead. HRC is also asking members and supporters to sign up
and to join the growing network of supporters to repeal DADT. To learn
more visit:

Murphy, an Iraq War veteran and a former paratrooper in the U.S. Army's
elite 82nd Airborne Division, is the lead sponsor of the Military
Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1283), the Housebill to repeal the
DADT law. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is expected to introduce a
Senate bill to repeal DADT soon. More than 13,500 Americans have been
denied the ability to serve - including more than 800 specialists with
vital skills like Arabic linguists.

leaders, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, recognize that DADT is a
failed law and support its repeal. Former Vice President and Defense
Secretary Dick Cheney also recently came out for repeal by stating,
"When the chiefs come forward and say, 'We think we can do it,' then it
strikes me as it's time to reconsider the policy, and I think Adm.
Mullen said that."


WHAT: Press conference highlighting grassroots support for the repeal of DADT

WHEN: March 4, 2010, at 12:00 p.m. ET

WHERE: U.S. House of Representatives Triangle, Capitol Hill

WHO: Press conference to feature remarks from:

-- U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, Iraq veteran and lead sponsor of the bill to repeal DADT (HR 1283);

-- Joe Solmonese, president of Human Rights Campaign;
- Eric
Alva, a former Marine Staff Sgt. veteran who was the first U.S. soldier
wounded in the Iraq war and is now an HRC spokesperson on DADT;

Jarrod Chlapowski, a former U.S. Army Korean linguist who opted to not
re-enlist because of DADT and is a public policy advocate at the Human
Rights Campaign; and,

Kayla Williams, a straight OIF veteran and former Army Arabic linguist
who is the author of the Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female
in the U.S. Army.

The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of over 750,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.