HRC Blog

Support for DADT Repeal Spreads in Virginia

I’m in a car right now, scooting down the interstate with my fellow Field staffer Sultan Shakir. You have to love wireless internet. We just left the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, where we’ve been working on organizing local support for DADT repeal. That part of the state, with so many military bases, has huge service member and veteran populations. Whether we were tabling on campus at Old Dominion University, or doing outreach at local community meetings, we ran into military men and women and their families who want DADT repealed immediately. Exemplifying why this law is so shameful and needs to be repealed this year, many were fearful to even talk to us about the issue. It was only after assurances that we would never do anything to endanger their lives and careers that the stories would come spilling out. It’s easy to take for granted, as an out gay civilian, how fortunate I am to be able to live my life openly and honestly. These are hard working, dedicated people who only want to serve their country. Their message to Senator Jim Webb was clear – SUPPORT DADT REPEAL NOW! The Virginian-Pilot – the area’s largest and most read newspaper – published a story about our Voices of Honor event, and the Newport News Free Press covered the event on their military blog. The stop, which was held in the historic Norfolk Main Branch Library, featured a screening of Ask Not and a panel discussion with Virginia veterans. It was a great opportunity for us to meet local supporters of repeal. We were able to identify a handful of veterans in attendance and recruit some volunteers to work with our DADT Hampton Roads organizer, Kristin. I’m headed back to Southwest Virginia next to prepare for our Blacksburg Voices of Honor stop and another in-district lobby meeting with Senator Webb’s Roanoke office. Residents of Southwest Virginia – mark your calendars for that leg of the tour. Check out our calendar for more information. If you live in Virginia, shoot me an email at to get involved in the fight to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

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