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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Republican Platform Plank on Don't Ask Don't Tell

From the Service Members Defense League:

Have you seen the Republican Party's platform position on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?

It 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."

That's right -- this week at its national convention, the Republican Party once again made discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members an official part of its vision for the United States.

Join us in sending a clear message to the Republican leadership that this position is unacceptable. Sign our petition right away:

Both Republicans and Democrats alike will tell you that our armed forces are overseas fighting for freedom. Then why is one of our major political parties ready to deny the very freedom we're fighting for to lesbian, gay and bisexual service members?

Homosexuality is "incompatible" with our military? Tell that to the 65,000 LGB service members who are serving right now -- today -- in the armed forces of the United States.

How about the 12,500 service members who risked their lives to defend our nation, only to be fired for their sexual orientation? And how about the nearly 60 gay Arabic linguists kicked out of the military, when we desperately need people with these critical skills to protect our country?

We should be calling for a systematic non-discrimination policy in our armed forces to reflect the American ideals of freedom and equality, rather than kicking out service members who are ready and willing to serve.

According to a July Washington Post/ABC News Poll, even a majority of Republicans nationwide agree. 64 percent of Republicans -- including Rep. Chris Shays (CT), Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (MD), and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) -- support allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.

Take a stand against discrimination -- sign our petition against the Republican Platform position on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":

Platform Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin McCarthy wrote in his preamble:
"We offer [the platform] to our fellow Americans in the assurance that our Republican ideals are those that unify our country: Courage in the face of foreign foes. An optimistic patriotism, driven by a passion for freedom. Devotion to the inherent dignity and rights of every person. Faith in the virtues of self-reliance, civic commitment, and concern for one another. Distrust of government's interference in people's lives. Dedication to a rule of law that both protects and preserves liberty."

With the nation's attention focused on the Republican National Convention in Minnesota this week, we hope the Republicans will hold true to those ideals and reconsider its position on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Thank you for helping us keep the pressure up.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a Bill Clinton policy. Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar refuses to co-sponsor legislation to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. That being said, this plank is a political liability for the Republicans. I urge people to write urging they change this plank.