At the July 1st commission meeting, the Oakland Park City Commission, working with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER), Fight OUT Loud, and many other organizations, brought forward a city resolution calling for the President and the United States Congress to adopt the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009 (House Resolution 1283), which eliminates the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT) policy, which bans brave and dedicated Gay and Lesbian Servicemembers from serving openly in the Military.
The resolution passed unanimously.
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. Brian Fricke and Matt Sampson, with SLDN and AVER, have been working with various local officials, including me and Vice Mayor Flippen of Wilton Manors, to pass these resolutions.
Oakland Park becomes only the second city in Florida and the eleventh in the Country to pass such a resolution.
I am so proud of my city and my fellow commissioners in Oakland Park for passing this resolution. Fighting for the equality of our citizens, supporting strong national security, and making sure everyone has the freedom to serve our country openly and honestly, without fear of discrimination or harassment, are important values for Oakland Park.
The resolution (available in full here) directs City Administration to transmit a certified copy of the resolution to the President of the United States, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Reid, the Broward League of Cities, the Florida League of Cities, and the Broward County Legislative Delegation. It also will send certified copies to Representatives Ellen Tauscher, Kendrick Meek, Robert Wexler, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ron Klein, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Alcee Hastings, and Senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez, asking them to fully support the repeal of DADT.
Oakland Park has made many moves towards greater equality for all its residents in recent months, including having Non-Discrimination Policies added to all city contracts that include sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, a review of city ordinances to ensure they are inclusive of LGBT families, passing the city's first ever Pride Month Proclamation, and hosting the first LGBT Pride event in the city.