OutServe-SLDN Calls For End to All Anti-LGBT Discrimination in the Military

Allyson Robinson/OutServe Magazine
Allyson Robinson/OutServe Magazine

At the 2013 National Dinner for OutServe-SLDN, an organization that supports, defends and empowers LGBT service members, veterans and their families, Executive Director Allyson Robinson gave the first State of LGBT Military Equality Address. Robinson, who is an Army Veteran and a transgender woman, spoke to a crowd of nearly 1,000 service members, veterans and supporters, emphasizing the need for their continued work toward ensuring a future of inclusion and fairness in the military. 

“The fight for full LGBT equality in our armed forces is far from over. In fact, it's just getting started," Robinson said. "LGBT troops still lack even the most basic nondiscrimination protections – protections that have been the standard with other American employers for years. The Defense of Marriage Act still denies LGBT military families the most important support services – things like health insurance and survivor benefits. Qualified Americans who are transgender and who want to serve in uniform are still forbidden from doing so by medical regulations that have become ridiculously obsolete. And despite the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," thousands of our troops are still in the closet, afraid of what coming out might mean for their careers, their families."

Allyson Robinson/OutServe Magazine

Robinson also announced that OutServe-SLDN is committed to expanding its membership from 6,000 to 14,000 by the end of 2014, which would reflect the number of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen forced out of service under the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy. Speaking about the organization's mission, she said, "It’s not enough to check off the items on our policy agenda one by one and say one day, ‘we're done.’ We're working to create a military that truly embodies the values of fairness and equality it protects, one that leads the nation in inclusion rather than lagging behind it."

The OutServe-SLDN National Dinner was also attended by former Congressman and DADT repeal advocate Patrick Murphy (D-PA), reality television stars Josh Kilmer-Purcell and his partner Brent Ridge of The Fabulous Beekman BoysWashington Post opinion writer and MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, and the first same-sex couple to wed in the West Point Cadet Chapel, Sue Fulton and Penelope Gnesin.

Chris Burch Photography


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