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HRC, GLBT rights groups in D.C. for '12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patriots' (video)
HRC, GLBT rights groups in D.C. for '12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patriots' (video)
On November 30, a three-day tribute will begin on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to coincide with the 14th anniversary of the signing of the infamous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. One American flag will be placed on the Mall for each service member discharged since the law's institution. The flags - 12,000 in all - will serve as a testament to the harm done to national security by the discriminatory law, as well as a reminder of the patriotism of those who selflessly volunteered their service only to be turned away. Although the "12,000 Flags for 12,000 Patriots" event will be immense in scope, the demonstration is unable to honor the thousands of GLBT service members still serving in our nation's military or who have already bravely given their lives for their country.

Over the summer, the Human Rights Campaign organized the Legacy of Service Tour in early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire to raise awareness of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the discriminatory policies that affect the lives of the thousands of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual service members. Simply put, the policy requires that GLBT soldiers refrain from expressing their sexual identity or engaging in any sort of sexual conduct while in military employ. This requires that recruits remain silent and celibate 24 hours a day, both on and off base - a requirement not forced on straight soldiers. Due in part to the HRC's tour, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was propelled back into the national conversation and is currently a key issue in the '08 Presidential campaigns.

For the "12,000 Flags" event, the HRC is partnering with Servicemembers United (formerly Call to Duty), Log Cabin Republicans, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and Liberty Education Forum to provide a weekend of tribute and discussion in honor of GLBT service members in our nation's capitol.

An HRC press release.

12000 flags

 

General Dennis Laich speaks at 12000 Flags event

 

Aubrey Sarvis speaks at 12000 Flags event

 

Patrick Sammon speaks at 12000 Flags event

 


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