MassEquality and HRC Press Sen. Brown to Repeal DADT
April 23, 2010
Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown will be a key vote on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal on the Senate Armed Services Committee. HRC is working in partnership with MassEquality to demonstrate the strong support for repeal to Senator Brown. This post comes from MassEquality organizer Julia D’Angelo: Today, I went out to get postcards signed for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. With fellow members from the MassEquality team, Matt Brunner and Jonathon Maynard, I attended the Earth Day Concert near Boston’s seaport. It was a beautiful day outside and the crowd could not have been friendlier. So many people came up to me and asked if they could take a postcard to sign before I even approached them. Very quickly, it became obvious to me that these people felt the urgency and need for the repeal of DADT. People from all walks of life approached me, young and old, gay and straight, Republican and Democrat. I was even able to convince a Catholic, Republican veteran that he should sign a post card. At first, he was extremely reluctant and told me he felt that DADT is a policy that benefits those who are gay in the military; however, the facts don’t lie. I told him that it is estimated that 66,000 lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are serving in the military and 13,500 have been discharged under DADT. This only slightly alarmed him but he realized the importance of these numbers when I told him that 800 of those discharged were specialists with critical skills like translating. After giving him all of this information, he was coming around to the idea of the repeal but was still not convinced. So I told him, “You know, this is the only job you can have where you can’t be out and open about who you are.” At that, he nodded, reached for the postcard to sign, and said to me, “I guess the law might have been helpful before but really, it is discriminatory. You shouldn’t be able to fire someone for just being gay.” I was so proud of him. I knew his views differed greatly from mine but he proved to me that when people take the time to listen to the facts and open their minds to both sides, they can see the urgency of repealing this antiquated law.