Sunday, May 31, 2009

DAY 14: DADT Update

An estimated 3,000 activists rallied in California's heartland yesterday for the Meet In The Middle 4 Equality event, which was preceded by a 14-mile march from the symbolically chosen town of Selma. I wish I could have been with them. Try though as I did, I could not arrange transportation. Anyway, from what I hear, it was an exciting day as thousands rallied in Fresno aiming to persuade California’s conservative heartland to support same-sex marriage rights. This was not an event to end Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, but I’m going to take a few minutes to talk about it anyway. By the way, Lt. Dan Choi (pictured above) was among the many speakers.

The Reverend Eric Lee, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, likened yesterday's march to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. "They walked 51 miles. We walked 15 miles. The pain that is in my feet, in my knees and in my back is nothing compared to the pain of injustice that you are going through right now," he said. "It does not compare to the discrimination that you are facing and I will walk another 15 miles and another 15 miles until we have marriage equality."

Choi and Lee were not the only speakers. Christine Chavez, granddaughter of United Farm Workers' Union Cesar Chavez, also spoke to the crowd, offering support. Academy Award-Winning Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black spoke too, as did actor Eric McCormick of Will and Grace.

China Daily has coverage HERE and you can also check out your favorite lgbt papers including the BAR.

Before I close my Sunday post I want to assure you that DADT is still very important to me. There is not news every single day though, so some of these entries may be more general in nature. The US House and Senate are in recess for Memorial Day Week, May 25-29. Now is the time to ask your congressional representatives to co-sponsor the Military Readiness Enhancement Act. Write or visit your Representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1283) which repeals the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law and allows gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. So far 141 co-sponsors have been signed up, but more are needed in order to have a real shot at passing the law this session.
If your Representative is already a co-sponsor, ask him/her how we can help make this legislation a priority. It was Daniel Choi’s coming out that really inspired me, and I continue to watch his numerous contributions to our struggle. Help us!

A few days ago at a rally folloing the California Supreme Court’s ruling on Prop 8, Dan was shared a love poem in Arabic and then translated it in to English:

You are free
You are free in front of the noon day sun
You are free before the moon and you are free before the stars
And you are free when there is no sun
You are free when there is no moon and there’s not a single star
But you are a slave; you are a slave to the one you love because you love him
And you are a slave to the one you love because he loves you back

He said the author wrote this because, “LOVE IS WORTH IT.” It is indeed Daniel. It is indeed!

1 comment:

Марко Фризия said...

DADT has cost the United States the loss of approximately 13,000 troops, the numeric size of a typical military division (e.g., the 101st Airborne Division or the 82nd Airborne Division). How can we, with two wars ongoing, continue to kick highly qualified people out of the military? The loss of an entire military division (13,000 troops) for purposes of anti-gay discrimination is foolish, hurts national security, and very unfair. Michael, thanks for supporting full military inclusion!