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Rights Coalition: DADT Continuation "Insulting"

 WASHINGTON - Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the Senate failed to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy:

“The Senate’s vote blocking the repeal of this discriminatory policy is an insult to our gay and lesbian veterans and service members, and a loss for our country.  These proud Americans have sacrificed their time, talent, and even their identities for the chance to serve their country, yet more than 14,000 of these men and women have been unnecessarily removed from military service under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’

In many cases, these service members were subjected to highly intrusive investigations or harassment tolerated under the policy. In addition, we will never know how many other bright, motivated men and women would have been willing to serve, but were deterred by the policy from ever signing up in the first place.

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ turned its back on the principle that people who are willing and able to do a job should be given a fair opportunity to do so. This is not only one of the most important principles behind the struggle to guarantee the civil and human rights of all people – it is also a matter of sound military strategy and common sense.

An integrated military, inclusive of gay and lesbian service members, is a moral imperative for our nation. We in the civil and human rights community believed that in 1948 when this country first allowed women and African-Americans to serve, and we also believe that today.”


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