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February 23, 2007
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Volume 35
Issue 08
 
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California military reserve commander releases strong endorsement of equal opportunity
California military reserve commander releases strong endorsement of equal opportunity
State's Commitment to Non-Discrimination Includes Sexual Orientation

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - Major General William H. Wade II, commander of the California Military Reserve, has issued a policy memorandum on the state's commitment to non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The memo, dated February 14, notes that "All leaders are responsible for ensuring that every member of the State Civil Service, State Military Reserve, and State Active Duty who are not federally recognized receive fair and equitable treatment on the basis of their capability and merit without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, gender, disability, age, or sexual orientation." The non-discrimination order, signed in September 2004 by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, applies to all California state military personnel who are ineligible for activation or deployment by the federal government. The order does not apply to National Guard units in California.

"California is leading the way in showing respect and gratitude to those who risk so much for their communities, their state and their nation," said C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). "Our federal government should follow California's example and allow all military personnel to serve openly in our armed forces. More than 65,000 service members continue to be forced into the shadows by 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Those who wear our nation's uniform deserve better. SLDN applauds Governor Schwarzenegger and Major General Wade for taking a strong stand against discrimination."

"As The Adjutant General, I am committed to maintaining a positive work environment that is productive and free from discrimination and bias," Wade said in his memo. "It is only with full command support that equal opportunity, elimination of discrimination and bias can become a reality. It is the responsibility of every member of the California Military Department to ensure that this policy is enforced."

The California Legislature recently passed a resolution encouraging Congress to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The state went on record supporting the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (MREA), a Congressional bill to lift the ban.

For more information, and a copy of Major General Wade's memo, visit www.sldn.org.

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