US church calls for end to gay military ban

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The Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), which has more than 300 churches and 43,000 members around the world, has joined other communities of faith in opposing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell@ policy of the U.S. military.

Declaring that “the very forces mobilised not only to defend our country but to establish freedom and justice for all should no longer be allowed to provide refuge for bias, bigotry and injustice,” Rev. Elder Nancy L. Wilson, moderator of MMC, called for repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual personnel in a statement.

“This policy has caused great harm to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military personnel, resulted in the unjust dismissal of thousands of service members, and failed to achieve its intended goals,” she added.

“We cannot hope to be instruments of peace on earth if we fail to live peacefully among ourselves, within our own nation’s borders and within the ranks of our own military personnel. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” should be repealed now; freedom of service should become a reality in the U.S. military now.”

The Rev. Dr. Sandra L. Bochonok, an MCC clergyperson and former Navy Chaplain, said: “I long for the day when the United States of America will allow citizens to serve openly. I pray for the day when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is lifted forever.”

The statement calls upon leaders at all levels of government to support the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and to implement public policies of non-discrimination with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The statements were warmly welcomed by the Servicemembers Legal Defence Network (SLDN), a non-profit legal services, watchdog and policy organisation based in Washington, D.C.

“Communities of faith are standing up against discrimination in our armed forces,” Sharra E. Greer, director of law and policy for SLDN, said in a statement.

“The MCC has a long history of working for justice and equal opportunity for all people, and they are a welcome voice in the growing coalition working to lift the ban,” she added.

“Their membership, which includes military chaplains and a strong contingency of activists around the world, will be immeasurably important in toppling “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.””

Source: Servicemembers Legal Defence Network

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