June 23, 2009
Seventy-seven Congress persons, led by Representative Alcee Hastings (D-Fl), have sent a letter to President Borack Obama requesting he suspend the investigation and discharge of service members in the Armed Forces because of their sexual orientation under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) and to follow it up with legislative repeal of the practice. You can find the names of the signers and the complete text on the Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings’ website.
The letter said in part, “Every day, we lose approximately two service members to this misguided, unjust, and flat-out discriminatory policy. Don't Ask, Don't Tell is not only an injustice to them, but a disservice to the U.S. military and our country as a whole.
“Mr. President, we cannot afford to lose any more of our dedicated and talented service members to Don't Ask, Don't Tell. On behalf of First Lieutenant Choi, Lieutenant Colonel Fehrenbach, and the more than 12,500 gay and lesbian service members who have been discharged since Don't Ask, Don't Tell was implemented in 1994, we stand ready to assist you in repealing this dishonorable and debilitating law as soon as possible, and in restoring justice and equality in our Armed Forces.”
Senator Dodd (D-Ct) converts on gay unions vs. marriage photo
Meanwhile, SenatorChristopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, has changed his position on gay marriage, announcing over the weekend that he now supports it. Dodd already backed civil unions, but had rejected gay marriage during his Democratic presidential campaign 2008.
On his Web site Sunday, a day he made a point of noting was Father’s Day, Dodd wrote that his two school-aged daughters have grown up around same-sex couples, some of which have married since it was made legal in Connecticut.
“To my daughters, these couples are married simply because they love each other and want to build a life together. That’s what we’ve taught them. The things that make those families different from their own pale in comparison to the commitments that bind those couples together. And, really, that’s what marriage should be. It’s about rights and responsibilities and, most of all, love. I believe that, when my daughters grow up, barriers to marriage equality for same-sex couples will seem as archaic, and as unfair, as the laws we once had against inter-racial marriage. And I want them to know that, even if he was a little late, their dad came down on the right side of history.”