WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” (DADT), issued a national action alert today calling on President Barack Obama to fully repeal DADT this year. The action alert, sent to SLDN’s members and supporters this morning, provides the number to call the White House switchboard.
“We have the votes in the House and we're close to having the votes in the Senate Armed Services Committee -- the President, however, is not helping us to get the votes we need. Service members around the world took the President at his word; we still do," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, via the action alert. “There is a path forward to repealing DADT and allowing the Pentagon Working Group to finish its review on how best to implement repeal. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) are working right now on a winning compromise.”
Late Friday evening, the Obama Administration shot a simultaneous salvo – from the Pentagon and the White House -- against advocates fighting for repeal this year. In a letter to the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Robert Gates came out against lifting the ban before the Pentagon's Working Group finishes its DADT study in December. Hours later, the White House issued a statement deferring to Gates. In doing so, President Obama appeared to reverse the commitment he made during his State of the Union Address when he said: “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It's the right thing to do.”
To view the action alert click here.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (www.sldn.org) is a national, non-profit legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” A journalists’ guide is available here.