President Obama, in his State of the Union address on Wednesday January 27th, said, “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.” The President preceded that by asserting his belief in true American values, “Abroad, America’s greatest source of strength has always been our ideals. The same is true at home. We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we are all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it, that if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else. We must continually renew this promise.”
American Veterans for Equal Rights thanks President Barack Obama for his courage and commitment in calling upon Congress to “repeal the law” that currently bars gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender military personnel from serving openly in the United States military. AVER, the oldest and largest LGBT Veterans Service Organization in the United States, strongly commends the President for his moral stand against prejudice and discrimination, and his obvious willingness to put the safety and security of the American people above divisive politics by removing a policy that jeopardizes our national security.
“With so much piled high on the President’s plate we are grateful that Mr. Obama continues to make the removal of injustice a priority for his administration”, said AVER President Danny Ingram, a former US Army sergeant and one of the first victims of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 1994. “AVER now calls upon the members of Congress and our military commanders to follow the President’s leadership in prioritizing the important upcoming congressional hearings on the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy”.
“As experienced veterans ourselves,” he continued, “we call upon Congress and the Joint Chiefs to put the safety of our troops and the success of our overseas missions above the partisan division which has too long held our nation back from regaining her rightful place as the leader of the free world. The lives of American soldiers should not be sacrificed to political posturing. Attaching the bill to end the ban, House Resolution 1283, to the Defense Authorization Bill is the right time to end the dishonor of DADT and insure that America’s military men and women, whenever and wherever they serve around the globe, are not only the guardians of freedom, but the representatives of the liberty they have sworn to defend.”
“As a soldier who loved the military and still believes deeply in its mission, I am extremely grateful for the President’s promise in taking on the challenge of DADT”, said Ingram. “Thank you President Obama. This is the type of leadership in the same caliber of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman that brought together a broken and divided nation and built her into a powerful and shining beacon of hope for all people. This is the type of determined leadership that our nation was praying for when you were elected to lead our united people into a new era of hope and prosperity in which all people could realize their potential as equal citizens, with equal rights and equal responsibilities in the defense and care of this great dream we call America.”
Denny Meyer, AVER Public Affairs, 718 849-5665
Danny Ingram, AVER President, firstname.lastname@example.org