Date: 05/25/2009 12:40 AM Eastern Daylight Time Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-585-9368
"As a bisexual in the military, there is no distinction in terms of punishment, no refuge in being bisexual. You get the same consequences; you don't get half a discharge." ~~ Cliff Arnesen, Bisexual Veteran and Current President of New England GLBT Veterans October 2001On this Memorial Day BiNet USA take the opportunity to once again express its full support of the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) and the implementation of nondiscriminatory practices in the armed services of the United States.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have honorably served in the armed forces throughout its history; military personnel are expected to be disciplined and professional -- for opponents of LGBT Servicemembers to suggest that the presence of such a person would bring chaos and disciplinary problems to the military is to insult the professionalism of that very military and to call into question the integrity of ALL service members.
A professional is a professional, skills are skills, and the best people are needed in all ranks at all times, regardless of sexual orientation -- as long as they behave in a professional, disciplined way. To deny our defending/fighting forces and ancillary aides the support they need (such as Dan Choi a West Point Graduate and an Arabic translator and lieutenant in the US Army who was just dismissed for being gay) is nothing short of foolhardy.
Also on this Memorial Day, we pause with the rest of the country to remember all the LGBT Servicemembers who have fought and died for the very liberty we hold so dear, and that so many wish to take from us -- even within our own ranks of fellow citizens.
We also pay tribute to those who are -- or wish to be -- members of the military but who are discriminated against, even as they hope to defend the very liberty that would have them deny their very right to free speech: Don't tell? That sounds contrary to the First Amendment. Don't use the best and the bravest? That sounds un-American. Remember what the Pledge of Allegiance says on this Memorial Day, a pledge LGBT people inside and outside the armed forces have fought and died to uphold: "With liberty and justice FOR ALL."
Now approaching its 20th year of existence, BiNet USA is America's Civil-rights and advocacy organization for all bisexual, pansexual, fluid and all the rest of us "somewhere in between" people as well as their lesbian, gay, transgender, "straight but not narrow" and questioning friends and allies, BiNet USA facilitates the development of a cohesive network of independent bisexual/pansexual, fluid and friendly communities; promotes bisexual, fluid, pansexual and inclusive visibility; and collects and distribute educational information regarding sexual orientation and gender identity with an emphasis on the bisexual/pansexual, fluid and allied communities.
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Tags: Memorial Day, Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT)