A friend of mine emailed Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) about the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. It is no surprise that the senator is for the repeal of this harmful law but, I wanted to share with you all, in full, the message that she sent back.
I must apologize, that, this was received on September 28th. It is only due to personal family issues that I’m just getting to posting this.
The name is redacted here for his own privacy, but I should mention that it was sent by a heterosexual married male in support of repeal of DADT.
Thank you for writing to me to express your support for gay and lesbian Americans being able to serve openly in the military. I appreciate hearing from you.
I support repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Every American should have the opportunity to serve their country, without regard to race, sex, creed, or sexual orientation. I strongly believe that the criteria for serving one’s country should be competence, courage and willingness to serve. When we deny people the chance to serve because of their sexual orientation, we deprive them of an opportunity of citizenship, and we deprive our Armed Forces the service of willing and capable Americans.
In the State of the Union address on January 27, 2010, President Obama called on Congress to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Less than one week later, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that he had formed a Pentagon Working Group to conduct a comprehensive study of a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and to propose a detailed implementation plan for the repeal of the policy by December 1, 2010. The Pentagon Working Group is being led by Department of Defense General Counsel Jeh Johnson and General Carter Ham, Commander of U.S. Army Europe.
On March 3, 2010, Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) introduced S. 3065, the “Military Readiness Enhancement Act.” I am an original cosponsor of this legislation which would:
- Prohibit the U.S. Armed Forces from discriminating based on sexual orientation.
- Repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, enacted in 1993.
- Create a federal statute preventing discrimination against current and prospective members of the Armed Forces based on sexual orientation.
- Direct the Pentagon Working Group, established by the Secretary of Defense and led by military leaders, to recommend regulations to implement the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
- Require the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress within 180 days on what actions have been taken to deny federal funds to any university that prevents establishment of an ROTC unit on campus.
For your convenience, I have included a statement that I made in support of this legislation. S. 3065 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Armed Services, of which I am not a member. However, please know that I will keep your comments in mind as this legislation is considered in the Senate.
Additionally, on March 25, 2010, Secretary Gates announced changes to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which will make it more difficult to remove service members from the Armed Forces based on their sexual orientation. This includes not acting on anonymous or third party “hearsay” statements and raising the level of the officers who are authorized to initiate inquiries or separate service members from the military.
Again, thank you for writing. If you should have any further comments or questions in the future, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. staff at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.
This is unedited except for the redacted name.
For your convenience, I will post the statement that she enclosed for our convenience in a post in a secondary post.