PFLAG Condemns Misleading, Anti-Gay Campaign in Support of Military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Law
     

For Immediate Release                                                                                                    
April 30, 2008                                                                                

Contact:  Steve Ralls
(202) 467-8180, ext. 214 / sralls@pflag.org

 

PFLAG Condemns Misleading, Anti-Gay Campaign
in Support of Military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Law
Calls New Web Advocacy Site More of Same Tired & Disproven Rhetoric

Washington, DC – Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) today called a new campaign in support of the federal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law misleading, offensive and disrespectful to America’s military personnel.  The online advocacy website, http://www.americansforthemilitary.com/, was launched by the conservative Center for Military Readiness and urges voters to sign a Congressional petition to continue dismissing lesbian, gay and bisexual service personnel from the armed forces.

“It is outrageous that some in our country would answer the service and sacrifice of their fellow citizens by calling for them to be fired simply because of who they are,” said PFLAG executive director Jody M. Huckaby.  “Ms. Donnelly has recycled the same tired, misleading and disproven rhetoric that has been used for years to keep too many qualified Americans out of our armed forces.  All the while, an estimated 65,000 LGBT Americans continue to proudly report for duty in our nation’s military and keep Americans, including Ms. Donnelly, safe and secure.  PFLAG supports all of America’s military and their families, including LGBT service members. No amount of shrill fear-mongering will ever change the fact that our country is better because of their service.” 

Calling efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” an “attack” on the armed forces, Donnelly calls for an “online Army” to support a continuation of the federal law, which results in at least two service personnel being dismissed every day.  Despite polls showing that 79% of Americans support allowing gays to serve openly, the Michigan-based activist also claims voters have “insisted” the armed forces keep gays out of its ranks. 

Meanwhile, retired, high-ranking military leaders, such as retired Joint Chiefs Chairman John Shalikashvili and Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (Ret.) have called for an end to the law, which is estimated to have cost taxpayers more than $364 million since its inception.

Our national priority should be on the qualification of potential service members, not on discriminating against them because of who they are,” Colonel Daniel Tepfer, USAF (Ret.), a 23-year veteran who serves on PFLAG’s national board, said in a recent statement.  “I know many stellar lesbian and gay troops who also served proudly, but who could not serve openly about their lives and their loved ones.  Our national priority should be on the qualification of potential service members, not on discriminating against them because of who they are.”

 “The best way to show pride in our troops is by saluting their service, not signing their pink slips,” Huckaby added.  “This new campaign is not only disrespectful to our men and women in uniform, but it is also a disservice to their families, who also continue to be impacted by this unconscionable law.”

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PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.  For more information, visit www.pflag.org.