Remembering those who have lost their lives in service to our country
On Memorial Day, Bent Alaska joins the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and families and friends in remembering and honoring LGBT servicemembers have lost their lives in service to our country.
The New Civil Rights Movement reminds us that this Memorial Day marks the 70th year that discrimination against gay and lesbian servicemembers has been officially sanctioned by the U.S. government:
Contrary to what too many believe, the policy and practice of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) remain in place until the repeal is fully implemented.
Today is the 159th day since repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was signed into law by President Obama, but full implementation is still some months away. The “Joining Forces” campaign for military families still explicitly excludes gay families until DADT repeal is full implemented. Meanwhile, just last week the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority passed a defense reauthorization bill which includes three anti-gay amendments:
Easily carried in a 322 – 96 majority vote and supported by a number of Democrats, one new hurdle has been added to an already onerous process, as the stridently anti-gay Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) sponsored the required formal concurrence of the service chiefs, along with the already required signatures of the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs. Other amendments include a restatement of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and a specific prohibition use of military facilities or personnel for same-sex marriage ceremonies.
May this be the last Memorial Day on which gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender servicemembers and their families are ignored or actively persecuted by their government.Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT), Memorial Day, servicemembers & veterans