TAKE ACTION: Fate of Lesbian & Gay Service Members in President’s Hands
December 9, 2010 by Carolyn Simon, Deputy Director of Digital Media
Moments ago, the Senate voted against bringing up debate on the National Defense Authorization Act -- the bill to which "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal is attached. That the Senate refused to take up the issue is certainly a failure of leadership by both parties. Since it appears Congress won't repeal the law this year, the fate of lesbian and gay service members now rests in President Obama's hands. To make good on his commitment to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2010, the President must stop defending DADT in federal court and issue a stop-loss order halting military discharges. Tell President Obama right now: End the discharges under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and stop defending this unconstitutional law in court. As HRC President Joe Solmonese outlined in an October letter, the Administration should call “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” what it is – an unconstitutional and discriminatory law that hurts our national security – and cease its legal defense of the statute. Separately, the President needs to immediately use his powers as Commander in Chief to issue a stop-loss order halting discharges. As Joe Solmonese said in a statement today: “The Senate’s apparent refusal to act on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal makes Presidential action imperative in order for him to fulfill his state of the union promise. The only measure of success is an end to the discharges and anything less is unacceptable. Every day that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is in force, Americans are losing out on the best and brightest service members defending our country. If Congress won’t act, it’s up to the President to clean up the mess they made when they enacted this discriminatory and unconstitutional law nearly two decades ago.” Take action right now by sending an email to President Obama reminding him that millions of Americans will stand with him when he asserts his leadership on this issue. And taking action today will add crucial pressure for President Obama to act before 2010 ends in just a few weeks.