Honoring LGBT veterans, and a Veteran's Day message from Alaskans Together

Today is Veteran's Day. Throughout the country, Americans are joining together to express their appreciation for the service and sacrifice of American veterans.

Let us include in the number the innumerable gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender veterans who have served us and our nation, all too often only to be "thanked" by being forcibly discharged under the draconian policies of Don't Ask Don't Tell and the discriminatory policies which preceded it.

Thank you, LGBT veterans, for your service. We do not forget you.

This Veterans Day, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is launching a special video to recognize the contributions of our patriots — past and present, LGBT and straight. Watch it now and visit www.sldn.org to find out how you can honor all our service members by helping us repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.

And now, a message from Alaskans Together:

With the elections behind us and everyone talking about what's going to happen next year in Congress, it's easy to forget that the work of the current Congress is not yet finished. The U.S. House voted earlier this year to repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). But we still need the Senate to take action before the year ends.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has the opportunity to prove again that she represents ALL Alaskans. In 2009, she voted for the NDAA, which included the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Now, in 2010, she can again vote for that same bill which funds our military and will also repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

In anticipation that the US Senate will revisit this issue during the "lame duck" session of Congress before the end of the year, Alaskans Together For Equality, Inc., the ACLU of Alaska, the Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network are joining forces to mobilize support for the bill, and HRC is sending Regional Field Director Tony Wagner to the state to help coordinate the effort.

Tony arrived on November 9th in Anchorage and will remain in the state until November 16th. While on the ground, he will need the support of all those who believe in equality to apply the needed pressure to convince Sen. Murkowski that passing this legislation this year is the right thing to do. To help us with our efforts, you can email Tony directly at Tony.Wagner@hrc.org or contact Alaskans Together at alaskanstogether@gmail.com.

Tony, board members from Alaskans Together for Equality, Inc. and representatives from the ACLU of Alaska will also be available to meet and speak with equality supporters about our efforts during two meet and greets.

Thursday, November 11th | 5:30 - 7 p.m.
Residence of Pete Pinney | 814 6th Ave. | Fairbanks

Friday, November 12th | 7 - 8 p.m.
Mad Myrna’s | 530 E. 5th Ave. | Anchorage

Please come and welcome Tony to Alaska!

After you call and write your e-mail, please forward this message or tell your friends and family what is at stake and ask them to contact Sen. Lisa Murkowski too.

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