Waymon Hudson

Servicemembers United & HRC Bring Tour to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to Florida

Filed By Waymon Hudson | September 03, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, HRC, Miami, Orlando, Servicemembers United, Tampa, Voices of Honor

Servicemembers United and the Human Rights Campaign are bringing their National Tour to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to Florida. LGBT and straight service members will highlight "Voices of Honor: A Generation Under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'" in Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. The event in Miami will feature a Spanish language townhall.

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The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, in partnership with Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their straight allies, will visit Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, FL, in September as part of "Voices of Honor: A Generation Under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' The national tour highlights the discriminatory law that hurts military readiness and national security while putting American soldiers fighting overseas at risk. The tour includes a public town hall discussion in Miami and Tampa along with a documentary screening in Orlando. The Miami town hall will be presented in Spanish. To learn more, visit: www.hrc.org/VoicesOfHonor.

After more than 15 years, many former congressional and senior military leaders who were involved in the construction and implementation of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" have recently called for the law to be reviewed or repealed, including former Joint Chiefs Chairmen Gen. John Shalikashvili and Gen. Colin Powell, and former Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA). The Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1283), which would repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," was introduced in the U.S. House earlier this year.

Tour schedule info after the jump...

Passed in 1993, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law allows gay, lesbian and bisexual service personnel to serve in the armed forces as long as their sexual orientation is not publicly disclosed or discovered. As of 2008, more than 13,000 men and women have been fired from the military because of their sexual orientation, including more than 60 Arabic linguists and nearly 800 other service members in critical occupational fields.

MIAMI SPANISH LANGUAGE TOWN HALL DETAILS:

WHAT: Spanish language public town hall discussion on the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
WHEN: September 14, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. local time
WHERE: University of Miami James L. Knight International Center, Flamingo Room 3rd Floor, 400 SE. Second Ave., Suite 402, Miami, FL 33131
WHO: Town hall to feature remarks from:
--Kevin Vick, a former U.S. Air Force linguist fluent in Spanish, Portugese, French and Arabic;
--Felix Arrieta, a retired Air National Guard transportation specialist who served under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for most of his career;
--Pepe Johnson, a U.S. Army non-commissioned officer discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell";
--And others standing united and speaking out for the repeal of this discriminatory policy that continues to harm our nation's security.

ORLANDO DOCUMENTARY DETAILS:

WHAT: Screening of "Ask Not," a PBS documentary on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
WHEN: September 16, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. local time
WHERE: The Plaza Theater, 425 N. Bumby Ave., Orlando, FL 32803
WHO: Q&A session following the movie with:
--Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign President
-- Jarrod Chlapowski, a former U.S. Army Korean linguist who opted to not re-enlist because of DADT and is a public policy advocate at the Human Rights Campaign;
-- Alex Nicholson, a former U.S. Army Human Intelligence Collector discharged under DADT and current executive director of Servicemembers United;
--Eric Alva, a former Marine Staff Sgt. veteran who was the first U.S. soldier wounded in the Iraq war and is now an HRC spokesperson on DADT

TAMPA / ST. PETERSBURG TOWN HALL DETAILS:

WHAT: Public town hall discussion on the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
WHEN: September 17, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. local time
WHERE: Nova 535, 535 Dr. MLK (9th) Street N., St. Petersburg, FL 33701
WHO: Town hall to feature remarks from:
--Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign President
--Jarrod Chlapowski, a former U.S. Army Korean linguist who opted to not re-enlist because of DADT and is a public policy advocate at the Human Rights Campaign;
--Alex Nicholson, a former U.S. Army Human Intelligence Collector discharged under DADT and current executive director of Servicemembers United;
--Joanne Scott, a straight, former U.S. Intelligence Analyst local to Tampa;
--Eric Alva, a former Marine Staff Sgt. veteran who was the first U.S. soldier wounded in the Iraq war and is now an HRC spokesperson on DADT

For veteran profiles, visit: http://www.hrc.org/sites/voicesofhonor/about_vets.asp


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