Veterans Speak Out in Ohio on DADT
December 6, 2010 by Karin Quimby, Political & Education Director, Project One America
Across Ohio, LGB and straight veterans are speaking out for “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” repeal. From meetings with Senator Voinovich, to rallies at the State house; a quiet vigil on a Catholic Campus, to a powerful forum with Major General Laich, veterans want Senator Voinovich and the public to know that this ban on open service for gay, lesbian and bisexual service members harms military readiness and is an insult to our brave men and women in uniform.
In his address to students and community members at Wright State University in Dayton, Major General Dennis J. Laich, USA (Ret.), spoke about the decades he commanded and served alongside service members who were likely or known to be gay and lesbian and how he strongly believes that lifting the ban will not on not harm military readiness, but will in fact open service to a great many more talented men and women who want to serve.At Xavier University in Cincinnati, students and community members held a quiet vigil to honor all those men and women in uniform who are forced to serve in silence. They hearda powerful testimonial from army veteran, Brian Endicott, who would have made military service to his country his lifetime profession had the pressures of having to lie each and every day about his identity made him decide not to reenlist.
Now that the exhaustive Pentagon study has been released, we know that allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly will not harm military readiness, nor will it cause a large majority of straight service members any anxiety. A recent Palm Center release put it most succinctly: “The only remaining rationale for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is prejudice.” We hope Senator Voinovich will recognize this and vote accordingly.
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