HRC Blog

Hoosiers Rally to Repeal DADT

voices of honor banner The following post comes from HRC Field Organizer Adrian Matanza: Hoosier Rally004Things have been going well here in the Hoosier state. After six successful Voices of Honor Tour stops so far, I wanted to take the time to introduce two of our Hoosier organizers that have been working hard the last couple months repealing DADT. The first is Brian, a student at IUPUI that has been hard at work organizing students across the state. He comes from the Obama for America campaign where he helped organized college campuses in North Carolina. Scott Spychala, an Army veteran, is helping to organize veterans here in Indiana and is gearing up for our veteran's lobby day on May 11th. Here is Scott's report about what is going on here in the Hoosier state: This week, we were out in Bloomington at Indiana University working with student organizers to repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.” This was out first rally in the state and the Hoosiers in Bloomington were just as welcoming and excited as they are in the rest of the state. Everyone wore their Repeal DADT dog tags and signed a postcard to send to Senator Bayh urging him to repeal the ban. The crowd was pumped up by SAGE, an IU LGBT group that helped organized the rally along with members of College Democrats and other supportive groups on campus. Then Jarrod and I spoke to the crowd of over 200 students, faculty, and alumni. Hoosier Rally005By the way, I am Scott Spychala, a veteran and a Hoosier, that served under the discriminatory policy and now am working with the Human Rights Campaign to repeal the ban THIS YEAR! I told the crowd that this is not a straight issue, this is not a gay issue--this is an AMERICAN issue! This is not a Republican issue, this is not a Democratic issue--this is an AMERICAN issue! The crowd was excited and I am definitely sure that they will be working hard out in Bloomington to continue the efforts to let Senator Bayh know that the Hoosiers support repeal. I continued my veteran outreach on Wednesday attending a veterans job fair and was overwhelmed by the support of the veterans in attendance. After that I met up with Adrian and Nick, and Scott and Sarah, two other Hoosier Voices of Honor. We had the opportunity to meet with a representative from Senator Bayh's office. Andrew Homan, Senator Bayh's Regional Director, was very helpful in listening to our concerns and made sure to take plenty of notes to send to the Senator. We stressed the urgency of Senator Bayh's support to co-sponsor the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (MREA) to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Not Tomorrow, Not Next Year, NOW. blog-dadt-sidebar And here's Brian's report: After a fun and exciting rally out in Bloomington, Adrian and I made our way to IP Fort Wayne, a university 3 hours north of Indianapolis to meet with the GLBT Resource Center and the LGBT group, Uniting Sexualities. It also happened to be the school's 'Victory Over Violence' week, headlined by Judy Shepard. She has been an advocate for the community for over 10 years and was helpful, not only signing a book for me, but also signing a postcard for us to send to her Senator. It's been a busy week for the three of us but it has definitely been worth it. I'm finally getting to visit every corner of the state I've lived in all my life and the support for repeal is overwhelming. Don't forget to join us at our next Voices of Honor Tour stop. You can find out more at www.hrc.org/repealDADT. You can also get involved in our Veteran's Lobby Day at www.VeteransLobbyDay.org Hoosier Rally001

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