URGENT: Call Sens. Begich and Murkowski on DADT now!

A message from Tony Wagner of the Human Rights Campaign, who was in Alaska this past week:


Thank you all for your insight into the LGBT community in Alaska and the political lay of the land. It’s been a pleasure. I wanted to send an update with the latest info regarding DADT repeal and where we stand.

It looks like the leaked information about the positive outcome from the Pentagon’s implementation study is having a good effect on wavering legislators and the possibility of repealing DADT this year is gaining momentum. That said, we still have a long ways to go. Congress will return for their lame duck session starting on Monday and we want to send members, including Sen. Murkowski, a strong message that the National Defense Authorization Act should be debated and passed during the lame duck, with the repeal language intact. So we’re asking folks to call Sen. Murkowski and Sen. Begich on Monday or Tuesday THIS WEEK and deliver this message:

“Hi, my name’s [NAME] and I live in [TOWN]. I support all our servicemembers and they deserve to have the National Defense Authorization Act passed this year with funding for our troops, pay increases and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell included. I urge Sen. Murkowski/Sen. Begich to vote for cloture and final passage of this bill.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski
202-224-6665 (DC)
877-829-6030 (toll free)

Sen. Mark Begich
202-224-3004 (DC)
877-501-6275 (toll free)

With so much at stake and so little time to get the job done, this is really an all hands on deck moment. If possible, please send this message to your lists, post to your facebook pages, blogs, etc. The alert pasted below is draft text of a national alert (separated by state) HRC will be launching on Monday. With all of us pitching in and working together, we can have the impact needed to move the ball forward and repeal DADT this year.

Thank you again and I look forward to continuing our work together for advancing equality here in Alaska and around the country.


Tony Wagner

Western Regional Field Director | Human Rights Campaign
1640 Rhode Island Ave, NW | Washington, DC 20009
202.772.3888 (o) | 202.459.3298 (c)
tony.wagner@hrc.org | www.hrc.org

Here's the draft of the national alert being issued tomorrow, referred to in Tony's letter:

URGENT: Calls needed on DADT now!

The push to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has reached a fever pitch. And this week could make or break it.

Years of work could boil down to what happens this week. The Senate's "lame duck" session began yesterday – our last, best hope to end the discrimination this year.

When the new Congress shows up in January, the House will be under staunchly anti-LGBT leadership. We have no time to waste.

Today, as we launch full-page newspaper ads across the country, we need tens of thousands of supporters to back up those ads by telling every single senator to end the discrimination NOW!

Call both your senators now – Sen. Lisa Murkowski at (202) 224-6665 and Sen. Mark Begich at (202) 224-3004 – and tell them "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" must end BEFORE you leave and the new Congress takes over.

The last time the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" came up for a vote in the Senate, Sen. John McCain led Republicans in a filibuster of the national defense spending bill that contains the repeal. They blocked it from an up-or-down vote – even though nearly 8 in 10 Americans now favor repealing the law.

Before time runs out, we need Senate Democrats to bring the defense bill to the floor and we need Republicans to stop threatening to derail the entire thing – including critical military equipment and pay raises – just to keep this discriminatory law on the books.

Is it just me, or is it completely absurd that Senate Republicans would hold troops' funding hostage, just so they can ensure that lesbian and gay soldiers have to keep lying or be fired?

The ads we're launching today call out this hypocrisy for what it is: bigotry masked as patriotism.

It's critical that every single senator hears from us today. Even if your senators are already with us on this issue they need to know that their constituents have their backs as they stand up for what's right.

And no matter where your senators stand, speaking out today sends a bold message: It's going to take a lot more than a few anti-gay leaders in Congress to make us give up this fight. As long as injustice is written into our laws, we will not rest.

Call Sen. Lisa Murkowski at (202) 224-6665 and Sen. Mark Begich at (202) 224-3004 and tell them to act this week.

Momentum for repeal is high. President Obama has called on the Senate to act during this short session – an important first step of the many needed for him to fulfill the pledge he made in the State of the Union to end this law. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and military chaplains are also speaking out.

Still, repealing this law is no easy task. But if brave men and women are willing to risk their lives while hiding who they are, we must be unafraid to fail – and always, unceasingly, unafraid to fight.

Never giving up,

Joe Solmonese

No comments:

Copyright © 2008 by Bent Alaska.