SLDN Joins “It Gets Better” Project
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2011
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SLDN Joins “It Gets Better” Project
Video Features DADT-Discharged Service Members, SLDN Staff
(Washington, D.C.) Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) today released an “It Gets Better” video, joining more than 10,000 individuals and organizations that have added their user-created submissions to the campaign. The initiative was co-created by syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope in young people facing harassment or bullying. The SLDN submission includes SLDN staff members, as well as service members discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), the discriminatory law that has banned qualified gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Forces since 1993.
“I am proud to be a part of the ‘It Gets Better’ effort on behalf of more than 14,000 men and women discharged from the military simply for being who they are. Repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ sends a strong and important signal to the country’s young gay and lesbian citizens that we support them, we value them, and they are a critical part of the fabric of our nation. I hope that once repeal is done, many of them will choose careers in our armed services,” said SLDN client and former Air Force Major Mike Almy, discharged under DADT after another service member searched his private e-mails without permission.
Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis led his staff in participating in the video message.
“SLDN is pleased to add our voice to the chorus of individuals and organizations from all walks of life who know that life can be incredibly difficult for LGBT teens. I trust our message will be one of encouragement, optimism, and hope for anyone facing harassment or bullying as they simply try to be themselves. We are proud to have been a leader in the fight to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and we are looking forward to the day when there will be full LGBT equality in our nation’s military. Until then, our work is not done, and it’s for these young people that we continue to fight so hard,” said Sarvis.
Dan Savage, co-founder of the “It Gets Better” Project, said “SLDN fought to make it better for gay service members, their partners, and our country. Thanks to SLDN, military service will soon be an option for gay and lesbian youth who want to serve their country. We're proud to have their support.”
To see the SLDN “It Gets Better” video, go to: http://www.itgetsbetter.org/sldn
For more information about the “It Gets Better” campaign, go to: www.itgetsbetter.org
STILL AT RISK: Despite the President signing the bill authorizing repeal of DADT, it is still unsafe for service members to come out until 60 days after certification by President Obama, Secretary Gates, and Admiral Mullen. Click here to read our warning to service members.
SLDN FREE HOTLINE: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members with questions are urged to contact the SLDN hotline to speak with a staff attorney: 202-328-3244 x100.
ABOUT SLDN: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) was established in 1993 when “Don’t Ask” originally passed. In addition to working on repeal, SLDN offers free, confidential legal services to those impacted by the discriminatory law. Last year the organization received its 10,000th call for assistance to its legal hotline.