Thanks to the gays in Dallas, LULAC National sends out an e-mail urging a repeal of DADT

Posted on 10 May 2010 at 11:14am
Pepe Johnson
Pepe Johnson

Jesse Garcia, president of Dallas’ gay chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC 4871), sends along word that LULAC National distributed an e-mail to all members on Friday urging them to support a repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.” Garcia said he believes this marks the the first time LULAC National has sent out a pro-LGBT message to its membership, which consists of 700 chapters and 115,000 members across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The e-mail sent Friday by LULAC National consisted of a letter from Pepe Johnson, a LULAC 4871 member and a former Army sergeant who was discharged under DADT. Johnson’s letter encourages people to participate in tomorrow’s Veteran’s Lobby Day on DADT:

LULAC is joining with other national organizations including the Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers United as a partner in Veterans Lobby Day. Veterans from all across the country will gather in Washington on 11 May to voice their support for ending DADT. LULAC National President Rosa Rosales states that “this spirit of cooperation continues in the example of our great civil rights leader César Chávez who not only fought for justice for Latino farm workers, but also built coalitions with his Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters. Just as LULAC stands against the discrimination taking place in Arizona, we stand with our Latino and LGBT sisters and brothers in the armed forces to say no to discrimination against our dedicated servicemembers.”

In 2008, Garcia, Johnson and Felix Arrieta attended the National LULAC Convention in Washington, D.C., and got a resolution passed overwhelmingly that calls for the repeal of DADT. Johnson is now in the D.C. area volunteering with HRC, Garcia said, and Friday’s e-mail was his idea:

“It just goes to show you that our battle for equality is not always centered in New York or Los Angeles. Great ideas are coming out of Dallas. We should be very proud of Pepe Johnson and Dallas!” Garcia said.

After the jump, the full text of Friday’s e-mail.

Dear Friends of LULAC:

My name is Pepe Johnson. I’m a member of LULAC Council 4871 in Dallas, Texas. I’m also a veteran of the U.S. Army discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). There are currently two bipartisan bills – one in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate – to repeal DADT and add “sexual orientation” to the current nondiscrimination rules of the US military.

In 2008, I brought the issue to the 79th LULAC National Convention in Washington, DC, and we passed this resolution in favor of repealing DADT:

To Urge the US Congress to Pass the Military Readiness Enhancement Act
WHEREAS, Americans of all races, colors, national origins, and sexual orientations have proudly served in the United States Armed Forces since the birth of our nation; and
WHEREAS, more than one million veterans alive today are gay, lesbian or bisexual, and more than 65,000 current servicemembers are gay, lesbian or bisexual; and
WHEREAS, those gay, lesbian and bisexual veterans and current servicemembers have distinguished themselves with their honorable service, including Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Eric Alva, the first American wounded in the invasion of Iraq; and
WHEREAS, barracks modernization programs begun more than a decade ago have greatly enhanced the personal privacy of all servicemembers; and
WHEREAS, integrity is the cornerstone to building character and becoming an effective leader in the Armed Forces; and
WHEREAS, lying about one’s sexual orientation does nothing to enhance the capabilities of the Armed Forces;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the League of United Latin American Citizens, that we urge our elected representatives in the US Congress to repeal the law commonly referred to as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to allow gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans to serve openly and honestly in the US Armed Forces by passing the Military Readiness Enhancement Act.
Approved this 11th day of July 2008.
Rosa Rosales
LULAC National President

LULAC is joining with other national organizations including the Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers United as a partner in Veterans Lobby Day. Veterans from all across the country will gather in Washington on 11 May to voice their support for ending DADT. LULAC National President Rosa Rosales states that “this spirit of cooperation continues in the example of our great civil rights leader César Chávez who not only fought for justice for Latino farm workers, but also built coalitions with his Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters. Just as LULAC stands against the discrimination taking place in Arizona, we stand with our Latino and LGBT sisters and brothers in the armed forces to say no to discrimination against our dedicated servicemembers.”

If you’re a veteran, and want to help, please sign up at www.veteranslobbyday.org or contact me directly. You volunteered before, and I’m asking you to step forward and volunteer again. DADT will be gone, and you have the chance to send it to the history books.

If you cannot join us in person on Capitol Hill, you can still set aside a few minutes to make a call to Congress. Call the Congressional switchboard (202-224-3121) this Tuesday, May 11 and ask your elected officials to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.


Thanks,
Pepe Johnson
Former Sergeant, US Army
Member, LULAC Council 4871

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