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Experts Weigh In On DADT

NEW YORK — The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center and its Young Leaders Council (YLC), Knights Out, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), The Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) host a thought provoking and engaging program examining the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy.

The Center conversation brings together four of the country's leading experts and advocates for repeal of the policy. Attorney and political strategist Richard Socarides, who served as White House Special Assistant under President Clinton, will moderate a conversation with award-winning Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, author of the definitive work on the policy (Unfriendly Fire) Nathaniel Frank, and Center for American Progress SVP Winnie Stachelberg. West Point Graduate Brenda S."Sue" Fulton will introduce the panel.

The event takes place Thursday, November 11, 2010, 7PM at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, New York City. Free, open press (please RSVP, see below). ISSUE: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Where Are We, and How Did We Get Here." Don't Ask, Don't Tell is one of the most hotly debated public policy issues facing our nation. It poses challenges for the President, the Congress and the courts. And especially for the LGBT political community. We will examine all of these issues in a lively and informal conversation with four of the country's leading experts and advocates.

Discussed will be "Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Where Are We, and How Did We Get Here." Don't Ask, Don't Tell is one of the most hotly debated public policy issues facing our nation. It poses challenges for the President, the Congress and the courts. And especially for the LGBT political community. We will examine all of these issues in a lively and informal conversation with four of the country’s leading experts and advocates.

The event will be moderated by by Richard Socarides. Socarides is a political strategist and attorney. He was White House Special Assistant and Senior Advisor to President Bill Clinton, where he specialized in policy, legal and political issues. He served as chief advisor to Clinton on gay civil rights from 1997-99. He also worked as a strategist on Capitol Hill, as Special Assistant to Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and in media (Time Warner), entertainment (New Line Cinema), and technology (AOL). He has held staff positions in several presidential campaigns and served as spokesperson for a Hollywood motion picture studio. His opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, The Huffington Post and AMERICAblog. Socarides is frequently quoted in national publications and often appears as a political commentator and expert on television. A practicing attorney, he is currently with the New York law firm Brady Klein Weissman LLP.

Introducing the panelists will be Brenda S. "Sue" Fulton. Fulton is a 1980 West Point graduate, part of the first class to admit women. She was commissioned in the Army Signal Corps and served for five years in Germany. She commanded a Military Intelligence company before leaving the Army at the rank of Captain. Sue helped found Knights Out, an organization of LGBT West Point grads and their allies, in 2009, along with Lieutenant Dan Choi and others. She is also a Founding Board member of OutServe, the Underground Network of active-duty gay and lesbian service members. She serves as Communications Director for both groups.

Panelists include Mr. Socarides will be joined by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Jonathan Capehart, internationally recognized authority on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Nathaniel Frank and Senior VP for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress, Winnie Stachelberg.

More About Jonathan Capehart
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart has been a member of the editorial board of The Washington Post since 2007. He is an MSNBC Contributor ("Morning Joe," "The Dylan Ratigan Show" and near daily presence on MSNBC dayside) and has been a member of the Reporters Roundtable on "This Week with George Stephanopolous," and substitute host on "The Brian Lehrer Show" and "The Leonard Lopate Show" on WNYC. Capehart was deputy editorial page editor of the New York Daily News from 2002 to 2004, and served on that paper's editorial board from 1993 to 2000.

More About Dr. Nathaniel Frank
Dr. Nathaniel Frank is author of "Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America," which won the American Library Association's Stonewall Book Award for non-fiction, and was a Lambda finalist. He is the former senior research fellow at the Palm Center, and is known for breaking the story of the Army firing of gay Arabic linguists. An internationally recognized authority on "don't ask, don't tell," he has lectured at West Point, consulted with the Pentagon Working Group, and testified as an expert witness in two successful Constitutional challenges to the law in federal courts. Dr. Frank’s publications on gays in the military and other topics have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, The New Republic, Slate, Huffington Post, and others, and he has been interviewed on numerous television and radio programs, including "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and the "Rachel Maddow Show." He is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at NYU.

More About Winnie Stachelberg
Winnie Stachelberg is the Senior Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining American Progress, she spent 11 years with the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay civil rights organization. In January 2005, Stachelberg was appointed to the newly created position of vice president of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Previously, she was HRC's political director, initiating and leading the expansion of HRC's legislative, political and electoral strategies. Before joining HRC, Stachelberg worked at the Office of Management and Budget.


About the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
Established in 1983, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, located at 208 West 13th Street in New York City, is the largest LGBT community center on the East Coast. More than 6,000 people visit the Center weekly and 300 groups meet there.  



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