Florida Cities, Including Miami, on Tour
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in partnership with Servicemembers United, will visit Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, and Pensacola, FL, throughout the month of April as part of “Voices of Honor: A Generation Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”
The national tour highlights the discriminatory law that hurts military readiness and national security while putting American soldiers fighting overseas at risk. The events will include a documentary screening and a public forum with lesbian, gay and straight veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, alongside average Americans fighting for repeal of DADT.
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 House bill 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.
The Miami event will be held on April 7, 2010 at 12:30 p.m. at the campus of Florida International University, Graham Center, Room 140, 11200 SW 8th St., Miami, FL 33199. It will include the screening of “Ask Not,” a PBS documentary on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and public forum.
The speakers will include U.S. Army Specialist Rasool Mutawakkil, a Miami native, who is a straight ally and served with openly lesbian and gay service members. A second invitee is Walker Burtschell, a Miami native and veteran of the U.S. Army who was discharged under DADT. The third scheduled guest is 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.
A second bilingual forum in Miami will be held on April 29 at the Versailles on Southwest 8th Street. SFGN will highlight details on its website.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. 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.