Michael Hamar

Tell Virginia's Senators to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" this year

Filed By Michael Hamar | July 11, 2010 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: DADT repeal, gays in the military, Jim Webb, Mark Warner, religious based discrimination, U.S. Military

As most readers know, repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell is very high on the list of legislative items Webb3.jpgthat I personally want to see accomplished this year. Living in Hampton Roads with its huge closeted military service member population, I see the damage this religious based policy of discrimination inflicts daily both in terms of friends in the military and in terms of clients who are service members yet treated like vermin by this bigoted policy.

A bastardized measure to repeal DADT has passed the House of Representatives and the main obstacle to passage is the U.S. Senate - with Virginia's Senators Jim Webb and, to a lesser extent, Mark Warner posing a portion of that obstacle. Given this reality, I was contacted this week by Alex Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and asked to help promote that organization's effort to bring Senators Webb and Warner into line to support the DADT repeal legislation.

I invite readers to go to the website WebbandWarner.org and sign the petition demanding that they vote for repeal of DADT. It is especially important that Senators Webb and Warner hear from LGBT Virginians who these men claim to represent on this issue. Personally, I've made it clear to Senator Webb's office that this is a do or die issue for me - either Webb votes for DADT repeal or I will not support him for re-election.

Moreover, I will actively work against his re-election. As pointed out in a previous post on my personal blog, I support David Mixner's agenda of not support/enabling those Democrats who betray me because in essence they are mealy-mouthed cowards.

Here are some highlights from WebbandWarner.org:

The outdated and discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) law has already resulted in the abrupt firing of more than 14,000 capable men and women, as well as the voluntary departure of tens of thousands more. Such a policy violates the integrity of our military and diminishes our nation's security. An amendment that is currently attached to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would responsibly repeal the DADT law in a way that is completely respectful of the ongoing comprehensive review process. The DADT law must go this year, and Senators Webb and Warner should support the current DADT repeal amendment to NDAA without modification.

Senators Webb and Warner absolutely need to hear from Virginians about the repeal of the DADT law. Senator Webb, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted against the DADT repeal amendment in committee and is likely to vote against it again when NDAA comes to the Senate floor. Although Senator Warner has not committed to final position yet, he is under significant pressure to fall in line with Senator Webb's opposition to repealing DADT this year. Virginia has a large conservative population, even within the Democratic party, that is assumed to oppose repeal, so Senators Webb and Warner need to hear from those who want this outdated law repealed this year.

Please sign the petition to Senators Webb and Warner here.

I would also urge readers to contact the senators' offices and raise hell about the utterly slanted and homophobic survey that has been disseminated to 400,000 service members. This survey was obviously prepared in a manner to knowingly scuttle DADT repeal. Given the biased and - in my opinion - deliberately flawed survey, both Senators Webb and Warner need to vote for DADT repeal without the bogus comprehensive review that the Pentagon and DOD have requested.

The Pentagon and DOD have proven that they are incapable of an objective and unbiased study. The White House also needs to hear from voters demanding that action be taken against those at the Pentagon and DOD who prepared this abortion of a survey. Personally, I believe that some senior officers involved in the formulation of the survey need to have their resignations demanded by President Obama now.

Indeed, if Obama doesn't take such action, then we can only assume that he is part of the conspiracy to kill DADT repeal.

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Nearly two-thirds of Virginia residents are anti-gay (64%). That's how their two Senators will be voting.

Emails, petitions and phone calls won't change that reality.