GLBT veterans lay wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier
 

Seattle Gay News
Mobile Edition
rss: SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml



SGN Mobile Front Page

SGN ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SECTION

MOVIE REVIEWS
CALENDAR
NORTHWEST NEWS CALENDAR
CLASSIFIED

click here to go to the main SGN website

 

posted Friday, October 16, 2009 - Volume 37 Issue 42

GLBT veterans lay wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier
by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

A significant number of LGBT veterans joined Army Lieutenant Dan Choi at the National Equality March on October 11 after President Obama issued his strongest statement yet on ending the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.

The policy, enacted into law by Congress is 1993, prevents LGBT service members from serving openly. Nearly 14,000 service members have been discharged from active duty since the law took effect.

President Obama spoke at the annual dinner for the Human Rights Campaign on October 10, bringing the crowd to their feet by declaring, 'I will end 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

"I'm an infantry officer, and when I heard those words, I didn't hear a political promise; I heard the commander in chief give an order,' Choi told SGN in a statement. 'I heard a call to action for the Department of Defense to prepare for this change now.'

On October 11, a spirited group of LGBT veterans, including many West Point and Annapolis graduates, marched with a color guard and placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

"We've served our country - some of us here are still serving, in silence - and allowing us to be truthful will strengthen, not weaken, our armed forces," said Becky Kanis, Chair of Knights Out, West Point graduate and former company commander in the Army.

Kanis marched alongside her friend, Annapolis graduate Jeff Petrie of USNA Out, the LGBT Naval Academy organization fighting to repeal DADT.

"Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has secured commitment for Senate hearings," Petrie said. "Those hearings need to happen now - we need all hands on deck to win the war in Afghanistan, and that includes people like Lieutenant Choi. The sooner the law changes, the sooner our service members will be able to free themselves from the distraction of legislated discrimination and focus on their jobs."

Choi spoke at the National Equality March rally on October 11, saying, "The time for asking is over. Because in the face of injustice, patience is not a plan; silence is not a strategy. My plan today, my plan tomorrow, and my plan forever, is to tell, and to tell, and to tell."

Choi's National Guard board met in June and recommended he be discharged. A final decision has not been rendered.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) appealed to President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates for their support, writing, "As Congress considers future legislative action, we believe it would be helpful to hear your views on the policy. Your leadership in this matter is greatly appreciated and needed at this time."



next story
250,000 march on Washington, demanding full equality
------------------------------
Seattle marches in show of solidarity
------------------------------
President Obama, speaker at HRC gala in Washington, DC
------------------------------
GLBT veterans lay wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier
------------------------------
Tour de Life : The highway
------------------------------
9th Circuit Court OKs release of R-71 names
------------------------------
California Governor honors Gay Activist
------------------------------
Study finds more Gay characters on network TV
------------------------------
VOTING BEGINS - Final push to approve Referendum 71
------------------------------
Anti-Prop 8 lawsuit OK, federal judge says
------------------------------
Dyke Community Activists turns 21
------------------------------
Registration open for Jet City Hoops
------------------------------
Seattle OUT protest's Generation Q Mega Mixer
------------------------------
Community college hosted stirring HIV/AIDS vigil
------------------------------
HRC HQ allegedly vandalized by radical Queer group
------------------------------
SGN exclusive interview GLAAD's new board president Jarrett Barrios
------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------
Ask Michael: Hurtful assumptions about homosexuality and pedophilia
------------------------------
Final push to approve Referendum 71
------------------------------
Gregory M. Ploub
Michael Bartholomew

------------------------------
JOINT STATEMENT RESPONDING TO THE DENIAL OF MARRIAGE TO AN INTERRACIAL COUPLE IN LOUISIANA
------------------------------
Mississippi School Refuses to Publish Yearbook Photo of Lesbian in Tux
------------------------------
White House Says No to Antigay Referenda
------------------------------
Gay Vet, Discharged Under Don't Ask Don't Tell, Elected National President of American Veterans For Equal Rights
------------------------------
Senate beats back filibuster on Hate Crimes bill
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Final push to approve Referendum 71
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!