Friday, November 30, 2007

12,000 Flags For 12,000 Patriots

Today marks the 14th anniversary of Don't Ask, Don't Tell being signed into law. This week the Human Rights Campaign, in recognition of this event is co-sponsoring a tribute to gay soldiers on the National Mall titled "12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patriots" along with The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Liberty Education Forum, Log Cabin Republicans and Servicemembers United. The event is the brainchild of Alexander Nicholson. In 2005 while studying at North Georgia Military College, Nicholson founded Servicemembers United, for young military veterans who oppose the ban. Nicholson and his boyfriend had both been offered full rides to GMC because the school’s administration found their situation as two former military personnel kicked out under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” “funny” says Nicholson. It was while driving around Dahlonega, Ga., on Memorial Day that Nicholson got his latest idea for activism. “They put up American flags everywhere,” Nicholson says. “They line all of the roads in that area with American flags and I thought it was such a neat idea and each one represented a veteran from that area.” The bold representation struck a chord and Nicholson got the idea to put flags on the National Mall to represent all of the service members dismissed under DADT. "We hope to use this event to draw attention to the growing numbers who are being discharged under the law and also to bring other veterans together to get involved in activism, get involved in the movement to repeal ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’" said Nicholson. The event coincides with other activities in the D C area to raise the awareness of the American people to the cost of this stupid policy. Eric Alva, former staff sergeant in the Marine Corps and the first American wounded in the Iraq war, said that with the upcoming election year it is critically important to bring attention to the issue of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." "With it being a general election this year and one of the more historical elections next year, we have already seen that no matter what happens this policy must be repealed," said Alva. In the You Tube debate last night every Republican candidate reiterated their support for this policy while every Democrat has expressed varying degrees of support for its repeal. It is time for the American people say no to the theocrats and ideologues by standing up for our right to serve honorably and openly in the armed service of our choice. GLBTQ Americans are no less patriotic than any other, in fact may be considered more so to serve in the face of such open hostility and discrimination. The common service members and many of their officers have come around including 75% of those returning from the debacle in Iraq who don't care who you sleep with as long as you can do your job. It is time for this policy to die an inglorious death and allow GLBTQ Patriots to serve without the fear of discovery of their sexual orientation. Write your Congressional Representatives and encourage them to repeal this stupid law.

I want to take a minute to say Bon Voyage to Ryan and Corey, from Boys Are Ugly, as they head off to England for a visit with Ryan's Grandparents. It is Corey's first trip overseas. Have fun, play safe and come back to tell us all about it. With that I will leave you with some eye candy to soothe the eyes. Until next time as always, Enjoy!

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