Monday, July 14, 2008

A Turning Point for Troops & Their Families

Next Wednesday - July 23 - may well mark a critical turning point in the fight to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the federal ban on open service that has cost our country the talent and skills of more than 12,000 patriotic Americans and cost tax-payers an estimated $363 million.

Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA), (pictured) Chairwoman of the Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, will hold the first stand-alone hearing on the law since it was implemented 15 years ago. Davis, who is a co-sponsor of Congressional legislation to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," deserves great praise for her courage in bringing about this momentous hearing. More than a decade of evidence has shown that our country's ban on gay troops is counter-productive, un-necessary and downright foolish. It has ruined careers, ruined lives and put an unacceptable burden on the men and women who wear our country's uniform, and the family members and partners who love them.

In preparation for next week's hearing, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will submit written testimony to committee members, highlighting the impact this archaic law has on American families. A close look at how far the law reaches, and how many lives it touches, clearly shows that, in fact, countless Americans' lives are touched by this official policy of discrimination. Here's a sampling of what PFLAG will say to Congresswoman Davis and the Subcommittee on Personnel:

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