Both Miami and South Beach have passed city resolutions opposing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and in support of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (HR 1283)!
Kudso to the City Commissions and all the hard work of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Save Dade and all of the amazing people working who were able to create this political capital for our congressional reps and send a strong message of support for LGBT servicemembers. This will be imperative in reaching out to the Diaz-Balart brothers in their respective districts and convincing them to cosponsor the legislation.
The cities join two other only 13 other cities around the country to pass resolutions. SLDN has been working on a nation-wide effort to get local governments to pass resolutions requesting adoption of this Federal legislation to show the overwhelming support for lifting the discriminatory ban and help convince legislators to sign on to con-sponsor the bill.
Wilton Manors and Oakland Park, FL (under the leadership of our own Commissioner Anthony Niedwiecki) have also passed resolutions.
More after the jump...
News release from Miami City Commissioner Joe Sanchez:
(Miami, FL)- City Commission Chairman Joe Sanchez introduced a resolution -- passed unanimously at today's City Commission meeting urging President Barack Obama and the United States Congress to adopt the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009, which eliminates the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and adopts a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation within the U.S. armed forces.
"Picture a person with the skills, expertise and bravery to protect an entire platoon of soldiers in the battlefield. The current rules prevent that would-be hero from sacrificing it all to protect our Democracy - simply because his or her sexual orientation," Sanchez said. "We must change the rules, so all of our best and brightest can serve our military."
Sanchez noted that many of America's allies, including Israel, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, allow lesbian, gay, and bisexual servicemembers to serve openly in their militaries, and the United Kingdom now actively recruit these servicemembers.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network finds that American taxpayers spend nearly $26 million a year training replacements for servicemembers discharged under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, with unknown costs associated with the actual discharge of these servicemembers and non-monetary costs to troop cohesion and morale associated with the loss of unit members.
"This sends a message that the City of Miami knows the time is now for all Americans to be able to serve their country proudly in the Unites States armed forces," Sanchez said.
Commissioner Anthony Niedwiecki (who is also my husband) has also gotten the Broward County Human Rights Board to urge the County Commission to pass a resolution as well.