In news reports from February 22, Senator Joseph Lieberman announced that he will be introduce a bill next week in the Senate to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Since early February, efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” (DADT) the policy of forced discrimination against bisexuals, gays, and lesbians in the military, have met with approval and support from President Obama and the Pentagon, but Congress must pass legislation before the policy can be ended for good.
The time is ripe to repeal DADT. A new report by the Palm Center on the experiences of foreign militaries finds that a swift and decisive policy change allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly could be accomplished with little or no disruption to the armed services. These findings echo the results of a 1993 RAND Corporation study that discouraged the gradual implementation of such a change, as proposed by the Pentagon.
As Unitarian Universalists and allies, we can help end discrimination in the military by sharing our stories and values with members of Congress and in the public square. Outspoken and courageous UU veterans such as Beth Coye, a member of the Rogue Valley UU Fellowship, have shared their experiences serving as gay and lesbian service members. You can read Beth’s op-ed in the Oregonian and check out the links in this article for an interview, including Beth’s perspectives on how working to repeal DADT puts her UU values into action.
Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is among the top priorities of the UUA Washington Office for Advocacy. Since last month, over 1,000 Unitarian Universalists and friends have responded to calls to action by writing letters and sending emails to their Senators and Representatives urging support for DADT repeal as soon as possible. If you haven’t already, contact your member of Congress today.