Thanks to Communications Intern Danielle for her work on this post.
At the State of the Union Address on January 26, 2010, President Barack Obama finally called for the repeal of the "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" (DADT) policy so that gays and lesbians could serve openly in the military. While many - including Robert Gates, Defense Secretary - have supported the initiative, the call for repeal has met opposition.
Once again America is lagging behind its allies. Countries like Israel, Canada, and England have openly LGBT folks serving with honor and distinction in the military. It behooves us to change this.
Equality NC is focusing this year on combating discrimination, and this includes discrimination against North Carolinians currently working and serving in the armed services, as well as their families, all of whom bear the weight of deception and self-closeting required by this prejudicial policy.
1) In order to fully repeal the DADT policy, we must ensure that our federal representatives are on board with our cause. The legislation needs 218 supporters for it to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives. In order to ensure that gays and lesbians can serve openly, we have to take action.
Only three House representatives of North Carolina have confirmed their support for the repeal. Contact your congressperson directly - either by e-mail, mail, or phone, or in-person - to get them and/or keep them on board. Tell them how the policy impacts not only you but also your families.
Learn more from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a non-partisan, nonprofit legal services watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending discrimination against, and harassment, of military personnel affected by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
2) The Family Equality Council is an organization working to advance rights and legislation that effect queer folk and their families. Serving under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” causes extreme hardship for LGBT parents, who are forced to choose between protecting their partners and children and serving their country.
The Family Equality Council knows the hardship that employment discrimination, from corporate America to the military, causes for loving LGBT families wanting simply to care for and support one another.
Help the Family Equality Council advance equality. Do you have a story about how “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has impacted your family? Are you serving in the U.S. military, or choosing not to serve because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Share your story with them
We also encourage you to report any discrimination you face in North Carolina to us. Equality NC will use your stories of bigotry and unfairness to convince the legislature of the importance of nondiscrimination legislation and the value of judging people fairly based on actions and merit, not arbitrary differences.