The Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs welcomed me last week to be part of its first joint meeting for a discussion about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), military attitudes toward open service and issues surrounding sexual orientation. The event was sponsored by the Columbia SIPA Veterans Association, Gays and Lesbians in International and Public Affairs, and the Gender Policy Working Group.
The audience – comprised of LGBTs, allies, veterans and members of the Columbia task force on ROTC – was thoughtful and engaging. From discussing passage of DADT repeal legislation last year to exploring the circumstances under which service members can still be discharged today, military personnel and civilians alike spoke candidly about the practical application of repeal. Overall, service members expressed support for the move to open service, including three who had positive experiences commanding gay soldiers in their units.
As we continue to push for timely certification and repeal of DADT, we are reminded that most Americans – civilian and military alike – support ending this discriminatory law.
04-05-11 By Emily Sussman, SLDN Legislative Co-Director |