Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), announced today that Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach and former Sergeant First Class Stacy Vasquez visited the Senate gallery to push for repeal in the lame-duck session.
“The stakes for repeal happening this year couldn't be higher. A clear majority of service members are okay serving side by side with their gay comrades. Sen. John McCain wants repeal language stripped out of the defense bill so he is not forced to take an on-the-record vote against funding the troops, and he wants the Democrats to give in to his outrageous demands,” said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. “Repeal advocates must urge their senators to call up the defense bill as reported out of the Armed Services Committee and pass it before the Senate goes home for the year.”
“We can repeal this law in lame duck, but we need both parties to stand up and do the right thing,” said U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, an Iraq war veteran. “The recent report from the Department of Defense confirms what we’ve been saying for years, which is that the time has come to repeal this discriminatory policy that harms national security and wastes taxpayer dollars. Twenty-six other nations, including Israel and Britain, allow their troops to serve openly. I hope Senate Republicans show that they agree that our troops are just as professional as any other nation’s and join me in supporting repeal.”
SLDN recently issued a national action alert urging key senators to vote on the comprehensive defense spending bill that includes repeal when they return for lame duck session. TWEET this action alert now: http://bit.ly/dkbW8e
About Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach: This decorated aviator was notified that his commander was seeking to discharge him under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in September 2008. Lt. Col. Fehrenbach is only 10 months from reaching his 20-year retirement in September 2011. Throughout his distinguished service he has attained nine Air Medals and currently works on desk duty at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho awaiting the results of nearly two years of investigations and discharge proceedings.
About former U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Stacy Vasquez: Stacy Vasquez began her career with the United States Army in 1991, immediately after high school. Vasquez was later selected as the Distinguished Honor Graduate from both recruiting school and advanced non-commissioned officer paralegal studies courses. During Vasquez’ annual evaluation in 2002, she was cited as the top recruiter in the Army and told she should be promoted ahead of her peers. In January 2003, Vasquez’s commander told her that a co-worker’s wife had seen Vasquez kissing a woman at a club in Dallas. She was discharged from the Army in August 2003.
KEY SENATORS WHO NEED TO HEAR FROM REPEAL SUPPORTERS:
–Harry Reid (D-NV);
–Carl Levin (D-MI);
–Susan Collins (R-ME);
–Olympia Snowe (R-ME);
–Mark Pryor (D-AR);
–Blanche Lincoln (D-AR);
–Richard Lugar (R-IN);
–Judd Gregg (R-NH);
–Scott Brown (R-MA);
–George Voinovich (R-OH);
–Kit Bond (R-MO);
–Joe Manchin (D-WV);
–Lisa Murkowski (R-AK); and
–Mark Kirk (R-IL).
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (www.sldn.org) is a national, non-profit legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” A journalists’ guide is available here.