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Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers United Announce 26-Stop Tour to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
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Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers United Announce 26-Stop Tour to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”


HRC, SU, alongside lesbian, gay, and straight service members, to hold public forums
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in partnership with Servicemembers United, announced today a 26-stop tour to continue building momentum to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT).  The announcement comes as the Department of Defense released new regulations earlier today that will raise the bar for investigations and discharges under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.  The tour – “Voices of Honor: A Generation Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’” – will hold public forums with lesbian, gay and straight veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, alongside average Americans fighting for repeal of DADT.
 
HRC dispatched field staff to six states – Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Virginia and West Virginia, where congressional support for repeal is critical.  The organization is building off the grassroots efforts of Servicemembers United to continue growing a network of supporters to repeal DADT.  To learn more visit: www.hrc.org/RepealDADT.
 
Military leaders, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, recognize that DADT is a failed law and support its repeal.  Former Vice President and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney also recently came out for repeal by stating, “When the chiefs come forward and say, ‘We think we can do it,’ then it strikes me as it’s time to reconsider the policy, and I think Adm. Mullen said that.”
 
Rep. Murphy, an Iraq War veteran and a former paratrooper in the U.S. Army's elite 82nd Airborne Division, is the lead sponsor of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1283), the Housebill to repeal the DADT law. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is the lead sponsor of similar legislation in the Senate.  More than 13,500 Americans have been denied the ability to serve – including more than 800 specialists with vital skills like Arabic linguists.
 
“VOICES OF HONOR” NATIONAL TOUR DATES:
 
March 29 – Lincoln, NE
 
March 30 – Indiana University, South Bend, IN
 
March 31 – Omaha, NE
 
April 1 - Evansville University, Evansville, IN
 
April 5 – Orlando, FL
 
April 6 – Tampa, FL
 
April 7 – Miami, FL
 
April 8 – Wheeling, WV
 
April 8 – Kearney, NE (tentative)
 
April 8 - Hanover College, Hanover, IN
 
April 10 – Clarksburg, WV
 
April 11 – Indianapolis, IN
 
April 11 – Omaha, NE
 
April 13 – Jacksonville, FL
 
April 13 – Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
 
April 13 – Charlotte, NC (tentative)
 
April 14 – Pensacola, FL
 
April 15 – Tallahassee, FL (tentative)
 
April 14 – Bloomington, IN(tentative)
 
April 20 – Richmond, VA (tentative)
 
April 22 – Norfolk, VA
 
April 24 – West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
 
April 28 – Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA
 
April 29 – Miami, FL (English/Spanish event)
 
April 29 – Arlington, VA
 
*Locations may change.  Additional stops expected to be announced soon.
  
NEBRASKA PUBLIC FORUM DETAILS:
 
WHAT:  Public town hall discussion on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
 
WHEN:   March 29, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. local time
 
WHERE:  University of Nebraska Lincoln, Union Auditorium, 1400 R Street, Lincoln, NE‎
 
WHO:  Discussion to feature remarks from:
 
-- U.S. Army Sergeant Stephen Vossler, a native of Friend, Nebraska, is a straight ally who served with numerous lesbian and gay service members, including Chlapowski; and
-- U.S. Army Specialist Jarrod Chlapowski, who opted to not re-enlist because of DADT and is a public policy advocate at the Human Rights Campaign;
 
INDIANA UNIVERSITY DOCUMENTARY SCREENING DETAILS:
 
WHAT:  Screening of “Ask Not,” a PBS documentary on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
 
WHEN:  March 30, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. local time
 
WHERE:  Indiana University Student Activities Center, 1700 West Mishawaka Ave., South Bend, IN
 
WHO:  Discussion to feature remarks from:
 
-- U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Scott Spaychala, a resident of Indianapolis who retired after serving more than 10 years under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
 
NEBRASKA DOCUMENTARY SCREENING DETAILS:
 
WHAT:  Screening of “Ask Not,” a PBS documentary on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
 
WHEN:  March 31, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. local time
 
WHERE:  Omaha Public Library, 215 S 15th Street, Omaha, Nebraska
 
WHO:  Discussion to feature remarks from:
 
-- U.S. Army Specialist Jarrod Chlapowski, who opted to not re-enlist because of DADT and is a public policy advocate at the Human Rights Campaign;
 
INTERVIEW AVAILABILITY: Members of the media seeking to preview this event by speaking to a straight or gay/lesbian vet may call Trevor Thomas at 202-216-1547.
 
 
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
 
Servicemembers United, a non-profit and non-partisan organization, is the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies. Based in Washington, DC, Servicemembers United actively engages in education, advocacy, and lobbying on issues affecting the gay military, veteran, and defense community.
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