Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!!

What's the true meaning of Memorial
Day? Is it just an excuse to grill out, lay in the sun and watch a parade on your day off? Nope. Memorial
Day is the day we set aside to remember those who have fought for our country and died or lived to tell their story. It's the day when we honor and thank every member of our military for putting their lives on the line in order to protect our rights and freedoms as Americans. 

Ironic that we would celebrate this national holiday in the midst of huge decisions being made about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Today we celebrate men and women who have taken an oath to protect our country: an oath that also keeps thousands of men and women in the closet, hiding their sexuality and therefore their true person. Presented in this context, how could one say that people should hide their sexual orientation in order to serve in our military? Eric Alva, the first wounded marine and purple heart recipient in the War in Iraq said, "When I was younger, I knew two things about myself: I was born to serve this country and I was born gay. Since 19 years old, I hid the latter because it would ruin my chance for the first." Which is a bigger sacrifice?  

Last week, the US House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act which removes DADT from federal statute. We are now depedent on the Senate to pass the bill through to Obama, who in his campaign spoke confidently about his plan to repeal DADT within his presidency.  On the opposite side, John McCain has threatened to issue a filibuster that completely overrides the entire Defense Act in order to prevent the repeal of DADT. It's a dangerous move that we, a country still fighting 2 wars, cannot afford. From the extreme right, we hear things like "Obama is trying to force homosexuality into the military." False. Passage of this bill and therefore the repeal of DADT will allow people to serve our country with the protection of equality and the freedom to be themselves -- one of the most important freedoms we are granted as human beings.  Be sure that your Senator is aware of your belief and support of all people serving equally in the United States military.

I am grateful for ALL of the military personnel who have served this country with honor and dedication. Thank you. Happy Memorial Day!   

Now go lay out.     

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