Thursday, August 27, 2009

[In Memoriam]: Senator Edward M. Kennedy from Bisexual Veteran Cliff Arnesen

New England Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Veterans Boston MA
Cliff Arnesen, President
New England Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Veterans, Inc.
John F. Kennedy Station
P. O. Box 6599
Boston, MA 02114

CELL PHONE: 617-697-1045 (Public)

Office Of Senator Edward M. Kennedy
317 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510

Office of Hon Senator Edward M. Kennedy
2400 John F. Kennedy Federal Building
Boston, MA 02203

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Dear Staff, Friends, Loved Ones, and Family of U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy:

On behalf of our membership, please know that I and our membership are greatly saddened at the passing of the "Lion of the U.S. Senate," Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and send our heartfelt condolences to Senator Kennedy's Staff, Friends, Loved Ones and to all in his family.

Year 2000: U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and Cliff Arnesen, Bisexual President, New England GLBT Veterans, in Boston MA, during Sen. Kennedy's Reelection CampaignOver the past 20 years, I have had the personal honor of working with Senator Kennedy and his staff on a myriad of issues germane to the LGBT Community.

These issues were inclusive of ending the military's inhumane "Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy"; much needed help to take care of ALL of our Country's veterans needs with more monies for the Department of Veterans Affairs to combat homelessness, HIV/AIDS, Agent Orange, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and more. Thus, I attach group photo of our members with Senator Kennedy, as well as two personal photos.

Also, Senator Kennedy was a champion of human and civil rights for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender people in many respects, inclusive of helping to formulate a Hate Crimes Bill.

On a personal note, today marks a dark and sad day for me, as I have known and worked with Senator Kennedy's office for 20 years. When in Washington, DC, Sen. Kennedy always took the time to speak with us as a group of veterans, always urging us to never give up our fight to secure human & civil rights--not special rights -- for our country's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Veterans, and the larger LGBT Community.

I will miss Senator Kennedy, and extend my personal regards to his Staff, Friends, Loved Ones, and Family.

However, I am comforted in the knowledge that Sen. Kennedy is in God's loving embrace for eternity.

In sadness,

Cliff Arnesen
Cliff Arnesen, President

Bisexual US Army (Vietnam -Era Veteran) 1965-1967
Imprisoned & Discharged as Homosexual From US Army in 1967
Disabled Person/ 70% Non Service Connected Disability
Current Volunteer: Jamaica Plain, MA, Veterans Administration Medical Center

(1 0f 5) Co-Founders, Natl. Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Veterans of America, Inc. (now American Veterans for Equal Rights)
Member: Predominately Gay, Alexander Hamilton, American Legion Post 448
Former Board Member: National Bisexual Advisory Board
Former Medical Patient Services Assistant, US Department of Veterans Affairs
First "Openly Bisexual" Veteran In America to Testify on Behalf of GLBT Veterans Before The U.S. Congress, via U.S. House Committee On Veterans Affairs: Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (1989 & 1990)

Washington DC: May 3, 1993 Members and friends of the  New England Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Veterans including Dr. Lorraine Hutchinson and Cliff Arnsen with supporter and friend, US Senator Edward Kennedy PHOTO CREDIT: United States Senate Photographer