Sunday, September 14, 2008

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Allow me to share an incident that happened to me last weekend. My husband and I were at a dinner party in San Francisco with six other gay friends. After too many bottles of wine, the topic of conversation dipped into politics and it seemed everyone had something to say about McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin.

I was taken aback when one of the older men at the table stated that he was so impressed with Palin, that he planned to vote for the McCain/Palin ticket. People argued that Palin, while certainly feisty, had little to no political experience, and that voting for McCain equated to voting Bush in for a third term. But this man brushed all arguments aside and stated that if Bush could run again, he would gladly vote for him a third time.

I was floored. I had heard about gay republicans, but this was my very first encounter with one. I asked him how he could justify voting Republican when that party is hell-bent on eroding all the gay rights we’ve struggled for over the last few decades. He stated simply that the Republicans support gay rights.

For anybody reading this who feels the same way, keep reading.

The Republican Convention's stand on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell” contains this plank: "To protect our servicemen and women and ensure that America's Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timeliness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service."


While the Democratic Convention Platform states: “Allow All Americans to Serve. We will also put national security above divisive politics. More than 12,500 service men and women have been discharged on the basis of sexual orientation since the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was implemented, at a cost of over $360 million. Many of those forced out had special skills in high demand, such as translators, engineers, and pilots. At a time when the military is having a tough time recruiting and retaining troops, it is wrong to deny our country the service of brave, qualified people. We support the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and the implementation of policies to allow qualified men and women to serve openly regardless of sexual orientation.


Yes, both parties want to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, but the Republican Party has once again made discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members an official element of its vision for the United States. At the same time, the Democratic Party is committed to ending all forms of discrimination. So how should you vote? Help us end discrimination, once and for all.

Join me in sending a clear message to the Republican leadership that their position regarding lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members is unacceptable. Sign our petition right away:

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