New York considers opposition to army gay policy

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The Servicemembers Legal Defence Network (SLDN) is applauding the recent New York state resolution calling for the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual personnel.

The resolution, introduced by New York State Senator Thomas Duane, calls on New York’s Congressional Delegation to support the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, a bill that would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The resolution is sponsored by the New York chapter of the American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER-NY), an association of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans.

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act was introduced in the House of Representatives in March 2005 by Marty Meehan and currently has 115 co-sponsors, including 17 members of New York’s Congressional Delegation.

“The military’s ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members impacts every American in every community,” said C Dixon Osburn, executive director of SLDN. “Our armed forces are better able to protect our homeland when the most qualified Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, are allowed to serve.

“From New York to California, Americans understand that the best way to strengthen our armed forces, and salute the service of more than 1 million lesbian, gay and bisexual veterans now living in our country, is to repeal the military’s ban. SLDN salutes Senator Thomas Duane and AVER-NY for taking a strong stand against discrimination in our armed forces.”

If passed, the New York State resolution would join similar measures passed by city councils in New York City, Chicago, West Hollywood, San Francisco, St. Louis and Cathedral City.

The California State Assembly also approved a similar resolution in September 2005, making it the first state to officially oppose the military’s ban.

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