So apparently White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett will be a guest speaker at the HRC gala fundraiser tomorrow night (see Pam's diary here). I have some questions for her, as I'm sure do you all. I, for one, would love to know if Jarrett can explain why her boss found time to personally call the WNBA champions to congratulate them, but he couldn't manage to have a staffer call the offices of Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor, or either of the Maine twins on the day of the failed Senate vote on DADT repeal. Servicemembers United also has some questions for Jarrett, and issued the following statement today:
Gay, Lesbian Veterans Call on White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett to Meet, Discuss DADT Repeal Before Gay Fundraiser Appearance
Jarrett’s Appearance at Gay Fundraising Gala Called “Insulting” in Light of Administration Inaction on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers United, the nation’s largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, today called on White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett to meet with gay and lesbian veterans to talk about the administration’s inaction on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before appearing at a black-tie fundraising gala for the Human Rights Campaign tomorrow in Washington, DC. Jarrett’s appearance at the gala fundraiser was announced today by the Human Rights Campaign, which also called both Jarrett and the president “strong supporters of those of those of us fighting for LGBT rights.”
“We certainly do not feel like the White House is a ‘strong supporter’ of gay and lesbian troops and veterans right now,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army human intelligence collector who was also discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “Before she appears at a black-tie fundraiser to tout the administration’s ‘strong support,’ Jarrett should meet and talk with those who have actually been impacted by this discriminatory law and who continue to fight this uphill battle for the lives and livelihoods of gay and lesbian troops. To ignore the reality of the administration’s choices, a reality manifested in our daily lives, while appearing at a party hosted by an organization that has given cover to this administration would be incredibly insulting.”
Nicholson added that a top-notch group of recent gay and lesbian veterans who are also involved in the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal movement are ready to meet with Jarrett for a respectful dialogue on Friday or Saturday.
For more information about Servicemembers United and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” please visit www.ServicemembersUnited.org.
I dare Valerie Jarrett to meet with SU's team, to look LGBT veterans in the eye, and try to explain her boss's “fierce advocacy.” I'm willing to meet with her personally and explain exactly how “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” has trashed my life. There are 14,000+ stories like mine, and Valerie Jarrett should be willing to take the time to hear at least one before going off to give political cover to our “fierce advocate” at HRC's self-congratulating salon tomorrow night.