I just got an e-mail from someone in the congressional office of U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, including the transcript of Rep. Moran’s remarks on the floor of the House today regarding the U.S. military’s anti-gay “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Here you go:
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to share the substance of an e-mail from an active duty soldier in Afghanistan. In response to an inquiry from his commanding officer related to the military’s review of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, the soldier shared how he and his partner of 10 years have managed multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He explained that they survive like any couple does except because of the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, his partner would not be informed in the event of his death and could not make any emergency decision that is would normally fall to a spouse.
“This situation is typical, even within his unit. He learned that a fellow soldier was also gay, only after he was killed by an IED in Iraq. The partner of the deceased soldier wrote the unit to say how much the victim had loved the military; how they were the only family he had ever known.
“Admiral Mullen said this issue is a matter of integrity. This immutable human trait, sexual orientation, like the color of one’s skin, does not affect one’s integrity, their honor, our commitment to their country. Soldiers serving their country in combat should not have their sacrifices compounded by having to struggle with an antiquated ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy. Let’s do the right and honorable thing and repeal this policy.”
Well, let me just say, thanks Rep. Moran. I hope that your fellow members of Congress pay attention to what you said. This isn’t about keeping gays and lesbians out of the military; gays and lesbians are already there, in every branch of the armed services, serving with courage and honor.
The push to repeal DADY is, instead, about fully recognizing the service and sacrifice of the soldiers, of the families who support them and sacrifice for them, too. It’s about honoring these honorable men and women by allowing them to serve openly and without fear.