Senate Fails To End Don’t Ask, Don’t TellPhoto by Anthony Loverde

Sacramento , California - 09/22/2010

Yesterday, in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Senate blocked the vote to begin debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which contains an amendment calling for repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy.

The vote, 56 – 43, was four votes short of the needed 60 votes to stop a filibuster by Senators opposed to repealing DADT. At this point, the NDAA would be put on hold until after the midterm elections.
Following the announcement of the vote, Danny Ingram, the president of American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER), a national service organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) veterans and servicemembers, released the following statement:

“AVER is saddened that the U.S. Senate failed today to proceed on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with the inclusion of an amendment that would allow the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law. For the sake of bigotry the oppositional right can now block funding our military and supporting all of our patriotic service members.”Photo by Anthony Loverde

“This is certainly a setback in the efforts to repeal this costly and unjust policy,” said Sacramento Valley Veterans (SVV) President, Tyson Redhouse. “At this moment, thousands of men and women are currently serving in silence in addition to having to now wait for the funding that supports their efforts to keep our nation safe. Our troops, straight or gay, should not have to pay the price because of the ideological and political differences of our elected leaders.”

Regarding the case where a California judge ruled the policy unconstitutional, Ingram stated, “AVER now demands that the Administration not appeal the court decision determining that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law is unconstitutional. Allowing the judge's decision to stand would end the DADT policy. Ultimately, our U.S. Congress should agree and legislate the repeal of DADT. But, by not appealing, and thereby allowing the policy to be voided, the administration would not simply keep its promise, but would bring America forward, rather than backward, in its highest value of equality.”

The Sacramento Valley Veterans (SVV) website recently started an information page on the policy and its developments. “We will be keeping a close eye on what happens,” Redhouse said, “we cannot give up. The silent serving need us.”

 

This image is from a series of photos by Anthony Loverde, a former USAF SSgt. Loverde began the series to draw attention to the need to end DADT. In the series, all of the servicemembers are covering their faces, as Loverde highlights the steps LGBT military must take to protect themselves from discharge under DADT. Loverde, a Sacramento resident and member of the Sacramento Valley Veterans, is currently serving as an openly gay man with a military contractor in Iraq. You can see more of Loverde’s images at www.loveridestudios.com

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