HRC Blog

Pushing Senator Bill Nelson to Vote For DADT Repeal

This week has been a very exciting week for DADT repeal here in the Sunshine State. Floridians successfully secured Senator Nelson’s support, whose vote on the Senate Armed Services Committee was crucial in order to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this week. Dan McLaughlin, a Nelson spokesman, confirmed the Senator's position this past Monday. HRC volunteers were working around the clock over the last several months from the Panhandle down to the Keys. Throughout HRC’s campaign in Florida, we have held over 100 DADT meetings statewide, collected over 7,000 post cards, supporters wrote over 300 handwritten letters, sent over 6,000 emails and made over 1,000 phone calls into Nelson’s offices for repeal. In addition to our post carding and phone calling efforts, HRC volunteers and veterans held seven meetings with Senator Nelson and his staff in their local Florida offices, and had an additional 2 meetings in the Senator’s DC office. HRC’s seven on the ground organizers, its volunteer army, and the broad in-state coalition they created has been huge driving force for repeal here in Florida. We have been fighting for repeal for 17 years now, yet it is the last month’s efforts in conjunction with a supportive Administration and Congress that have made repeal a reality and Senator Nelson an ally in the fight to end this discriminatory policy once and for all. After being successful in their attempt to win the support of Senator Nelson, our volunteers concentrated their efforts on priority states like Virginia, where we had hoped to receive the support of Senator Webb. Throughout the week we have been phone banking into Virginia in order to connect with local HRC members there to encourage them to call their Senator. This week, we are making history. I am so proud to be a member of HRC and to be part of the strong effort here in Florida which now has their hand in history and in the progress of civil rights in this country. Thank you Florida! And thank you Senator Nelson! The hour of repeal is finally at hand!

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