I’d like to extend a
thanks to the following people:
Margarethe “Grethe” Cammermeyer
Charles David King
C Patrick McIlvan
And the countless number of LGBT Veterans who served their country with honor.
I thank you for your service. I may be straight, but the one thing that we have
in common is that we took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the
United States. I take that oath very seriously and I have encountered fellow Veterans
(both LGBT and straight) who feel the same way too when it came to ending this
Some are not with us to see the day that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has ended. As
fellow veterans, it is our duty to ensure that their stories are told. We have
passed down the stories of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment during
the Civil War, the 761st African-American Tank Battalion that served
under Patton in World War II, the WAVEs, the Nisei, and countless other stories
of groups that were denied civil rights but served their country regardless
because of the idea spelled out in the Constitution of forming a more perfect
union and echoing the idea in the
Declaration of Independence that all MEN (in the inclusive human sense) are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator certain unalienable Rights.
It is a time to celebrate, but I do recognize that there is a long road ahead.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is still in place denying benefits that opposite gender couples enjoy but service members involved in same-gender relationships do not enjoy. We do not have an all-inclusive ENDA (Employee Non-Discrimination Act), which my wife has been pushing along with her friends in the transgendered community for 20+ years.
Currently, there are
six states, the District of Columbia, and two Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest
that will marry same-gender couples. Texas and many other states have state constitutional
amendments defining marriage as “one man, one woman.”
Mr. Diviesti said it best, “I'm taking my
celebratory end of DADT drink in a to-go cup. We've got too much ahead of us to
let celebration slow us down.”
Make mine an extra-large… I want to savor it while we are on the road working
on the next issue.
However (comma) I do not intend to end this on a sad note.
Take the victory lap today and get back to work tomorrow.
Again, to our LGBT Veterans, I salute you for your service in uniform and the continued service out of uniform to ensure that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is left in the dust.
It is FINALLY done!
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”