The following comes from Mary Lou Paquette, A veteran from New Hampshire who has worked closely with HRC on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal:
I’m a late bloomer as far as activism goes. It took me 21 years of serving in the military to finally speak out about equality and justice. Emotionally, I had to become active in the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” It has taken such a toll on my life that I couldn’t stay silent any longer.
In June of this year I met Christine Sloane of the Human Rights Campaign and began attending events and collecting petitions in support of the repeal of DADT. Christine’s enthusiasm and ever present positive energy was the motivation that kept me going.
Today I was afforded the opportunity to drop off hundreds of signatures from New Hampshire residents in support of repealing DADT. Senator Gregg has not announced whether he is voting for or against the repeal. We’ve worked hard to show Senator Gregg that the right thing to do is to pass the National Defense Authorization Act and repeal this discriminatory law.
One of the first lessons I learned in the military was “never assume.” I’ll be pacing the floors until the vote and until we see full repeal. I am confident, however, that I’ve done all that I can.
I’d like to thank Christine, Congressman Paul Hodes and all of the New Hampshire residents who voiced their support for the repeal.
Elie Wiesel, author of “Night” wrote, “neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.” It is time; I hope you will join me in continuing to fight for equality to all.
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