Hoosiers Keep Pressure on Senator Lugar

This following comes from HRC Field Organizer Brian Griffin:

After last week’s failed vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, we here in Indiana did not let up. We continued the pressure on Senator Lugar to make sure he does the right thing by supporting the stand-alone bill introduced last week that would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” We joined Organizing for America in Indiana to phone bank for repeal. Constituents were connected to Senator Lugar’s voicemail to urge him to continue to support DADT repeal this year.

Yesterday, 20-year Army veteran Scott Spychala stopped into the Senator’s office in Indianapolis and dropped off over 350 letters, postcards and petition signatures gathered from all over the state. The letters and postcards came from students, veterans and supporters urging him to support the stand-alone bill.

Now that this bill has passed the House, we need more than ever to keep the pressure on the Senate. If you know a Hoosier or are a Hoosier, make sure to call Senator Lugar’s office and let him know you support repeal. He needs to hear from you now! Call his office and leave him a message at 202.224.4814. You can join us for stop-and-dial events all week long.  If you have an hour to give this week contact me at brian.griffin@hrc.org and let me know that you want to help repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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Keeping Up the DADT Pressure in Illinois

The following is from HRC field organizer and military veteran Lee Reinhart:

With the passage of civil unions legislation in Illinois last week, there was much to celebrate and rightly so. But here in the Land of Lincoln, we’ve quickly returned to our work generating constituent contacts with newly elected Senator Mark Kirk in support of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal. Illinois voters are getting involved by making phone calls, writing letters and attending organizing meetings.

From up north in Chicago to downstate in Carbondale, from Champaign in the east to Quincy in the west, Illinoisans are making their calls to our new Senator Mark Kirk.  With recent reports stating that Senator Kirk still hasn’t made a final decision on support for DADT repeal, now is not the time to let up.

This past week, I was at Elmhurst College working with members of the school’s gay-straight alliance, Straights and Gays for Equality. (SAGE)  SAGE members made the call to Senator Kirk, as did local LGBT high school students who took the additional step of asking their friends and family to make the call.

I also met with members of American Veterans for Equal Rights and the Chicago chapter of Log Cabin Republicans.  AVER member and retired Navy Captain Ann Bidwell, who served 27 years, not only made the phone call but also wrote a personal letter that’s ready to be hand-delivered to Senator Mark Kirk this week.   Below is a small excerpt of her letter:

“Simply put, Honor, Courage and Commitment require truthfulness.  DADT requires hiding, misrepresentation, and lies.  For thousands of gay United States service members in uniform, this creates an untenable and unsustainable state.  How can one have honor, yet be required to lie on almost a daily basis?  It is exhausting.”

There is still so much more to do. To get involved in Illinois, please contact me at lee.reinhart@hrc.org or (773) 680-0620.  To take action wherever you live, visit http://www.hrc.org/repealDADT.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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Powell: Don’t pressure Congress to vote if it ‘isn’t ready’ and the DADT study is in

WTF? Let’s see…Gen. Colin Powell’s turn on this is bizarre. While he, as one of the architects of DADT, is now for repeal, apparently the midterm scare is goosing him to urge the political slow-walk now.

Last time I checked, what he’s calling “pressuring” — a.k.a lobbying, calling and holding direct actions to urge Congress to act on legislation before it — is what citizens are encouraged to do. What is the point of electing people to represent you if you aren’t supposed to let them know how important passing a bill or addressing an issue is?

Or do the sensitivities of military homophobes who are queasy about soap dropping in the shower/homos seeing my pee-pee supercede this? Via Igor Volsky @ The Wonk Room:

POWELL: My position has been, it has been 17 years since we put that policy in place. Lots of things have happened. Attitudes have changed within our society. But i always believe, as I believed in 1993, that we have to take into account the views of our military leaders who are responsible for the well-being of the armed forces.

KING: So you support the McCain’s view?

POWELL: Yes. But, you know, our military leaders have now spoken. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, there is some, some difference of opinion among the chiefs that will have to be resolved. But I wish that we would just let that study be finished, let it be published and let everybody read it and not leak parts of it. And so I share Senator McCain’s view that we ought to let the process unfold and not try to intercept it with court rulings or with people trying to get a vote out of the Congress when the Congress is not ready to vote on it.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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