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Robinson Praises Panetta for Action on Women in Combat

For immediate release:
Thursday, January 24, 2013

Contact: Zeke Stokes at
202-621-5406 or

Robinson Praises Panetta for Lifting Combat Exclusion for Women, Calls for Action on Equality for Gay and Lesbian Service Members, Families

(WASHINGTON, DC) Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson praised Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta for using his authority to lift the ban on women in combat and called on him to exercise his leadership in the final days of his term to take decisive action on behalf of the nation’s gay and lesbian service members and their families.

“Today, Secretary Panetta rightly acknowledged the service and sacrifice of so many brave women in our military and affirmed that being fit for combat has nothing to do with gender - just as it has nothing to do with sexual orientation. We thank the Secretary for his leadership in ending this antiquated exclusion and taking an important and historic step forward,” she said.

OutServe-SLDN has called on Panetta repeatedly during his tenure to take action on extending recognition, support and benefits to the families of gay and lesbian service members.

“After nearly two years of unnecessary and unexplained delay, it’s likewise time for Secretary Panetta to acknowledge and affirm the service and sacrifice of the gay and lesbian military families - who may now serve openly, but are still anything but equal - by immediately extending all benefits within his authority under existing law,” she said.

For a list of benefits that could be extended now, click here

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 OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination.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

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