Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Brody's Notes... National Stonewall Democrats Remarks Regarding DADT

By Linsey Pecikonis (Washington DC) NOV 30 | " The DADT repeal is not some fringe issue being pushed by a small minority; it is an issue supported by a large majority of Americans and service members." Michael Mitchell, National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director remarked upon this afternoon's release of the Defense Department’s “Report on the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with the Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’” 
"This report shows that our military is staffed and run by intelligent Americans who can work alongside lesbian and gay soldiers serving openly in their midst, and that logistical issues such as housing can be handled efficiently and wisely." He  said.
Mitchell also said:
“Recent statements by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and even Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) that more study needs to take place before repeal are just stall tactics, especially given the thorough, year-long process that the Defense Department undertook to study the issue of repeal. We also find it ironic that the Senators said that the upper chamber should be talking about jobs and not ‘political’ issues like DADT repeal. We remind the Senators that DADT is about jobs: the jobs of thousands of soldiers, some of them mission critical and irreplaceable, who were discharged from the military because of the discriminatory DADT.
Mitchell then took aim at Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor (D-AT) saying:
“Senator. Mark Pryor had voted against cloture on the National Defense Authorization Act in September, joining the entire GOP caucus and the other Senator from Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln (Majority Leader Harry Reid voted against cloture as well in a procedural move that allows him to bring it up for reconsideration). In a recent article in an Arkansas newspaper, Pryor reaffirmed that he will do so again, saying that he believes the military needs ‘a bit longer’ to study the issue of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal and citing concerns about troop housing. It also disturbs us that he said he believes ‘homosexuality is a sin.’
Today’s release of the Pentagon Working Group study on open service shows that our military is staffed and run by intelligent Americans who can work alongside lesbian and gay soldiers serving openly in their midst, and that logistical issues such as housing will be handled efficiently and wisely,” Mitchell continued. “Pryor is behind where the large majority of the military already is, and behind where the large majority of Americans are.”
"Senator Pryor needs to remember he represents all of Arkansas and vote for cloture and the NDAA and I call on all Senators standing in the way of history to trust the military’s study and vote for the National Defense Authorization Act with DADT repeal language intact. I also call on our Stonewall Democrat family and supporters to immediately contact their Senators, regardless of party, to ask them to support DADT repeal now that the Defense Department has released their comprehensive study.” Mitchell said. "At National Stonewall Democrats, part of our mission is to hold Democrats accountable for how their views and votes affect our community. It saddens me that from time to time we have to call members of our Party on the carpet for their backwards views on equality and the votes that adversely affect the LGBT community."
"Sen. Pryor needs to remember that he represents all Arkansans, not just straight, Christian ones,” said Angela Frazier, Vice President of the Stonewall Democrats of Arkansas. “Everyone is entitled to their beliefs – and we are not suggesting at all that Sen. Pryor can’t practice his chosen religion. We are strongly suggesting, however, that he consider being a leader in a way that includes all Arkansans and be mindful of his language when referring to entire swaths of the constituents he represents."