Rally Against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Held at U.S. Capitol
March 16, 2009
This post was sent to us today by Wade Miller, a member of HRC's field department:
More than 150 people braved freezing temperatures and a wintry mix to rally for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The rally, organized by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, was held on Friday at the U.S. Capitol. Chants of “Freedom to Serve” and “Lift the Ban” could be heard from the crowd that gathered to hear personal stories of lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers. One of the speakers, Takia Mitchell, said she joined the Army in November of 2007 and was discharged after three years under the DADT Law. “[The Army] was my life,” Mitchell said. “It gave me a right to serve.” Mitchell also said that being in the Army gave her a since of pride. “I joined the Army to make my family proud,” Mitchell exclaimed. “But DADT did the opposite, it made me ashamed.” Mitchell said she served openly for two years in South Korea to the disinterest of her commanders, but upon relocating to New York, was discharged less than a year later after being outed. Among the event’s dozen speakers was Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). Norton fired up the crowd by stating that we were here to tell a largely democratic senate and an overwhelmingly democratic house, to pass the Military Readiness Enhancement Act. “These are honorable Americans who want to serve and are serving,” Norton said. “You deserve your rights and a whole bunch more.” Earlier that day, rally attendees lobbied members of congress to pass the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009 (H.R. 1283). H.R. 1283 would amend Title 10 of the United States Code by replacing the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The legislation was introduced March 3, 2009 by Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) and currently has 130 co-sponsors.
April 15, 2013