More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Disappointment
Supporters of allowing gay, lesbian and bisexual troops to serve openly could only muster 56 of the 60 votes they needed to move forward on repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.
All of the Senate's Republicans were joined by Democrats Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (although Reid himself was a strong supporter of the measure that would have allowed the Pentagon to lift the ban on openly gay service - he voted no, so that under Senate rules, he'll be able to reintroduce it later.)
GLAAD is urging the media to shine a light on the stories of the men and women who are harmed by this discriminatory policy. "The current filibuster ignores the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans support repealing this law which puts our country at risk by continuing to dismiss vital service members," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios.
"We urge media to focus on the stories of the brave gay and lesbian service members who serve with distinction along with the latest opinion research that shows a majority of Americans favor repealing the law. As Americans hear the stories of gay and lesbian troops, an overwhelming number have sided with equality. It's time for our lawmakers to listen to their constituents and the brave men and women who, despite their patriotism and service, are dismissed simply for being who they are."
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director (and military veteran) Aubrey Sarvis said "Let’s be clear: Opponents to repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ did not have the votes to strike those provisions from the bill. Instead, they had the votes for delay. Time is the enemy here. We now have no choice but to look to the lame duck session where we’ll have a slim shot. The Senate absolutely must schedule a vote in December when cooler heads and common sense are more likely to prevail once midterm elections are behind us. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network will continue to take this fight to the American people, the vast majority of whom support repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”