DADT Repeal Tour Launched Today
July 8, 2009
The Human Rights Campaign in partnership with Servicemembers United along withU.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), announced today the launch of “Voices of Honor: A Generation Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’” The national tour highlights the discriminatory law that hurts military readiness and national security while putting American soldiers fighting overseas at risk. Rep. Murphy, himself a veteran of the Iraq war, announced his will be the lead sponsor of DADT repeal in the U.S. House. “Voices of Honor” features a diverse group of gay, lesbian, and straight veterans who have served under the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy. The tour includes former Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, the first U.S. soldier wounded in the Iraq war; Jarrod Chlapowski, a former U.S. Army Korean linguist who opted to not re-enlist because of DADT and is currently a public policy advocate at the Human Rights Campaign; Alex Nicholson, a U.S. Army veteran fluent in Arabic discharged under DADT and current executive director of Servicemembers United; Army Staff Sgt. Genevieve Chase, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Executive Director of American Women Veterans; and others standing united and speaking out for the repeal of this discriminatory policy that continues to harm our nation's security. The tour builds on the work of the Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers United and the June 2007 “Legacy of Service” tour that played a key role in driving the conversation in the Democratic and Republican Presidential debates. During the presidential primary campaign debates leading up to the 2008 election, every Democratic and Republican candidate was asked about his or her position on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The issue was also addressed in the LOGO, Human Rights Campaign Presidential Forum in 2007. The importance of repealing DADT was also highlighted in the 2006 “Call to Duty” tour sponsored by HRC and Servicemembers United. “Voices of Honor: A Generation Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’” National Tour: Philadelphia, PA; Trenton, NJ; Virginia Beach, VA; Phoenix, AZ; Kansas City, MO; Orlando, FL; Tampa, FL; *Additional cities and dates expected to be announced soon.