Yesterday, SLDN’s Board co-chair and retired Navy Commander Zoe Dunning was honored by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) as 2011 Woman of the Year for the 8th Senate District of California. At a reception at the Noble club in San Francisco, CDR Dunning was recognized for her outstanding public service contributions and her hard work on the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
CDR Dunning came out publicly in January 1993 and subsequently won a two-and-a-half-year legal battle to remain in the Navy Reserve. Her advocacy for DADT repeal with SLDN culminated in December 2010, when she stood next to President Obama at the repeal bill signing.
CDR Dunning represents part of the generation of repeal advocates who witnessed the transition from the pre-DADT regulatory ban on LGB service members, to the 1993 DADT law. Now, as we push for timely certification and repeal to take place soon, a new era will begin.
It is important to be vigilant as repeal training continues in the military, and as we push back on repeal opponents who would attempt to undo these long years of hard work to achieve success and move forward. Click here to learn more about these potential threats to repeal and how YOU can help resist these harmful attempts to turn back the clock.
Without advocates like CDR Dunning, future recruits like me would not be on the cusp of open service today. Without their willingness to speak out and endanger their own careers under DADT and the prior regulatory ban, we would lack role models for the future post-repeal period. SLDN joins Senator Yee in recognizing CDR Dunning’s service, and thanks her and all our long-time supporters for paving the way and continuing this fight.
04-26-11 By Elizabeth Shirey, SLDN Grassroots/Policy Advocate |