Yesterday’s Veteran’s lobby day in Washington DC had some pretty good news come out: Senator Bill Nelson of Florida switched from a “NO” to a “Likely YES.” That means that activists now only need one more vote to pass a Senate repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” with 51 votes. With a majority of the House of Representatives already in favor, getting just one more key Senate vote is going to be extremely crucial.
Here are your Senators to call:
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) [(202) 224-5623]
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) [(202) 224-4543]
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) [(202) 224-3954]
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) [(202) 224-6551]
Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) [(202) 224-4024]
Tell them that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is discrimination, and that the vast majority of Americans are in favor of gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces. Tell them that 45% of Iraq and Afghanistan vets said they wouldn’t mind serving with an openly gay person, as opposed to under 35% who said they would mind. Tell them that its the right thing to do. Tell them that Lieberman’s Military Readiness Enhancement Act will be crucial, and their co-sponsoring is needed to move it along. Tell them to support any effort to insert the language of the MREA into the Defense Authorization without alteration.
Tell them we need to do it today, not next week, next year, or next decade. Any law passed would take at least 120 days to put into action, which would give it plenty of time to be carefully implemented. Any law provides a time table and means to incorporate the findings of the Pentagon working group studying the issue. The working group, by the way, is not studying IF we should end the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, but HOW and WHEN. Even passing the law tomorrow will not stop the working group’s findings from being a part of the law’s implementation.
Call them today please!