Veterans Make Calls to Scott Brown’s Office: Repeal DADT

Last night, HRC volunteers made phone calls to veteran households and transferred 131 supporters to Senator Scott Brown’s voicemail box.

We were joined by three veterans who shared their stories with the volunteers.  Mike Young, who served as a Marine, told about serving overseas in an anti-terrorism security team alongside a bisexual Marine. “There was no negative effect on morale, effectiveness, or readiness in my unit.  The men and women in the Marine Corps are the best of the best… All troops, gay and straight, will work and live together exactly as their superiors tell them, because that’s what Marines do. The military leaders have recommended repeal. It is absurd to think that a service as efficient and professional as the Marines would face any considerable negative impact when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is repealed. We’re the Marines. We will improvise, adapt, and overcome.”

This morning we were excited to see that Scott Brown’s hometown paper printed an editorial today calling on the senator to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The Sun Chronicle indicated Brown is:

“on the fence regarding repeal… Practical considerations should lead him to back the repeal. The proposal comes from the Pentagon, to which Brown has been loyal throughout his career in politics and in the National Guard. And the Pentagon has made it plain that it expects a losing battle in the courts if the policy is not repealed. Brown’s position, according to a statement from his office, is that ‘we should not implement any new policy until we have assurances it can be implemented without jeopardizing the mission of our military.

…Not repealing [the law] would pose the larger jeopardy by opening implementation of new policies to court oversight. But mostly we expect Sen. Brown to decide on backing the repeal, after this week’s hearings by the Armed Forces Committee, on which he serves, because it is the right thing to do.”

With similar mainstream newspapers writing editorials, such as the Boston Herald and the MetroWest Daily News, the pressure on Senator Brown is building. Calls, emails and handwritten letters are tallied by Senate offices so don’t forget to add your voice to the call for repeal.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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Sen Scott Brown, R-MA, Supports DADT repeal

Confirming information tweeted by John King of CNN, Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachuttes has released a statement from his website:
Dec 03 2010

Scott Brown Statement On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) today issued the following statement on the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy:

“I have been in the military for 31 years and counting, and have served as a subordinate and as an officer. As a legislator, I have spent a significant amount of time on military issues. During my time of service, I have visited our injured troops at Walter Reed and have attended funerals of our fallen heroes. When a soldier answers the call to serve, and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight. My only concern has been whether their service and sacrifice is with pride and honor.

“I pledged to keep an open mind about the present policy on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Having reviewed the Pentagon report, having spoken to active and retired military service members, and having discussed the matter privately with Defense Secretary Gates and others, I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary’s recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed.”

Apparently an announcement was expected, from Salon, Is Scott Brown Boxed In on DADT?

According to his office, Brown will announce his position after committee’s hearings wrap up today, but it seems clear which way he’s leaning. If he does opt to support repeal, it won’t by itself change much. With Mark Kirk’s swearing-in last week, Republicans now have 42 seats in the Senate, so Democrats need two GOP votes to break any filibuster (at least for the next few weeks). But if Brown is willing to buck his party, it could be a sign that the chamber’s few other moderate Republicans — essentially, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, and maybe Richard Lugar and the retiring George Voinovich — are willing to cross over, too.

Granted, it isn’t a commitment to defy the GOP filibuster. But, it is very good news, moving the conversation in the right direction and I’ve never felt more optimistic.

Update:
Here’s an excerpt from MassEquality’s press release. MassEquality was heavily involved in lobbying Sen. brown. Emphasis added.

“While we are happy that Sen. Brown has said that he will support repeal of the law, our work is not over. Sen. Brown’s support to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will mean little if he is not one of the 60 senators needed to prevent a Republican filibuster preventing a vote on the Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision that would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”


Update from Lurleen: And check out this video from ThinkProgress. Sen Udall today asked each admiral down the line whether they could implement the changes if charged to do so. “Yes”, “yes”, “yes”…

Seventeen years ago when open service was last debated in the Senate a similar panel was asked the wrong question, whether homosexuality was compatible or incompatible with military service. We all know the answer. Times have changed, have they not?
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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GOP Senator Scott Brown will support DADT repeal

This is great news, and it helps shift momentum our way. Specifically, it puts more pressure on other GOP moderates like Snowe and Collins, and also on Dem conservatives. What remains to be seen is whether Brown supports cloture on the defense bill itself (there are various cloture votes). He could support cloture on DADT but not support it on the bill, thus taking DADT down anyway. So more details need to come out. But still, this is good news.

“I have been in the military for 31 years and counting, and have served as a subordinate and as an officer. As a legislator, I have spent a significant amount of time on military issues. During my time of service, I have visited our injured troops at Walter Reed and have attended funerals of our fallen heroes. When a soldier answers the call to serve, and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight. My only concern has been whether their service and sacrifice is with pride and honor.

“I pledged to keep an open mind about the present policy on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Having reviewed the Pentagon report, having spoken to active and retired military service members, and having discussed the matter privately with Defense Secretary Gates and others, I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary’s recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed.”




AMERICAblog Gay

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Scott Herman for The Trevor Project

SCOTT HERMAN MAIN X390 (SCOTTHERMANFITNESS.COM) | ADVOCATE.COMFormer Real World: Brooklyn castmember and current fitness guru
and gay rights advocate Scott Herman filmed a YouTube public service
announcement that supports The Trevor Project, which works to stop
suicide among gay youth through a 24-hour hotline.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

Cary Grant-Randolph Scott Friendship Examined

RANDOLPH SCOTT CARY GRANT X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COMThe nature of the long friendship between late actors Cary Grant and Randolph Scott gets examined, along with photos of the two men, in a Village Voice blog entry.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

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Towleroad News #gay

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