The Pentagon Working Group’s comprehensive report on gays/lesbians in the military and the possible repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will be released today. According to the Washington Post‘s Federal Eye blog, the report will be officially released today at 2:30 PM Eastern time — 10:30 AM Alaska time:
The report’s release caps nine months of research by [Defense Department General Counsel Jeh C.] Johnson, [Army Gen. Carter F.] Ham and a 66-member team that met with more than 40 groups representing gay and lesbian troops, gay veterans, military spouses and the same-sex partners of closeted gay troops.
Some findings of the report have already been publicized after leaks in the Washington Post earlier this month. Among them:
According to a survey sent to 400,000 service members, 69 percent of those responding reported that they had served with someone in their unit who they believed to be gay or lesbian. Of those who did, 92 percent stated that their unit’s ability to work together was very good, good, or neither good nor poor, according to the sources.
Combat units reported similar responses, with 89 percent of Army combat units and 84 percent of Marine combat units saying they had good or neutral experiences working with gays and lesbians.
The report’s coauthors — Defense Department General Counsel Jeh C. Johnson and Army Gen. Carter F. Ham — along with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen are scheduled to testify Thursday, December 2, before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Meanwhile, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) planned to hold a national media conference call at 11:00 AM Eastern time (7:00 AM Alaska time) this morning, according to a media advisory released yesterday. SLDN is a leading advocate for LGBT servicemembers, and its site is a good source of news and information about the ongoing fight for open service in the military.
SLDN issued another press release today about an online message from open service advocate Lady Gaga on repeal of DADT:
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), announced today that Lady Gaga released an online video message directed to her supporters and followers to push for repeal in the senate lame-duck session. Re-tweet Gaga now: RT @LadyGaga A message from Gaga http://bit.ly/g8cI68
Here’s the video:
Key senators who need to hear from repeal supporters:
- Harry Reid (D-NV)
- Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
- Mark Pryor (D-AR)
- Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
- Richard Lugar (R-IN)
- Judd Gregg (R-NH)
- Scott Brown (R-MA)
- George Voinovich (R-OH)
- Kit Bond (R-MO)
- Joe Manchin (D-WV)
- Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Mark Kirk (R-IL)
- James Webb (D-VA
Lisa Murkowski last week told KTVA’s Matt Felling that “I would not oppose the Defense Authorization bill because Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the repeal of it, is included within it” — but statements during and since then from Sen. Murkowski and her staff have made it clear that her “non-opposition” is far from equivalent to “support” for a repeal, and comes with some qualifications.
Make sure to let her know that equality under the law for LGBT citizens, including LGBT servicemembers, is important to you:
Sen. Lisa Murkowski
877-829-6030 (toll free)
The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
709 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510