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OS-SLDN Responds to NDAA Developments

For immediate release:
Wednesday, December 18, 2012

Contact: Zeke Stokes at
202-621-5406 or zeke@outserve-sldn.org

OutServe-SLDN Responds to NDAA Developments
Robinson: This fight is an indication that the gains we have made are fragile

(Washington, DC) Today, Army Veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson reacted to the final version of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including language intended to extend so-called “conscience protections” to service members (including chaplains). A provision to restrict same-sex private religious ceremonies taking place on military installations was rejected by the conference committee. Final “up or down” votes in the House and Senate are expected by week’s end, with no further opportunity for amendments.

"On the second anniversary of the passage of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal, it is disheartening that Congress included this unnecessary intrusion into matters that historically have been reserved for military commanders. Department of Defense policy already guarantees that no service member or chaplain is ever punished for his or her religious beliefs unless he or she acts on those beliefs in a way inconsistent with military law or good order and discipline. It will now be up to the Pentagon to deal with this ‘solution in search of a problem’ and promulgate implementing regulations that preserve good order and discipline and empower commanders in the field to deal with anti-gay discrimination and bias when they occur,” she said.

Robinson also warned that opponents of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal have not given up their fight to relegate gay and lesbian service members and their families to second-class status permanently.

“This fight is a reminder that the gains we have made are fragile and that we must be ready to defend them at a moment’s notice, even while we are pressing forward on issues such as military nondiscrimination protections for LGBT service members and benefits for same-sex spouses and families to achieve true equality in our military,” she said.

ABOUT OUTSERVE-SLDN: OutServe-SLDN is the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel with more than fifty chapters and 6000 members around the world It works to support a professional network of LGBT military personnel and create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org.

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