Rep. Patrick Murphy: Ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? It’s a matter of honor.

November 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm 53 comments

With the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” facing uncertainty in the U.S. Senate, Congressman Patrick J. Murphy asked us to send this message to our members before Veterans Day on Thursday. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Congressman Murphy is the son of a police officer and a legal secretary, a proud husband and father, a former West Point professor, and an Iraq war veteran. — Eden

By Congressman Patrick Murphy

When I take on a job, I finish it.

After September 11, I volunteered to fight for my country. I became a Captain in the U.S. Army and was awarded a Bronze Star while serving in Iraq. While in Baghdad, I counseled many active-duty servicemembers who came to me with tortured souls, concerned that their sexual orientation might end their military careers, as a result of the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.  

One particular soldier’s internal conflict was profound. I can still remember his pained and heartbreaking questions. Should he lie? Should he tell the truth and then be kicked out of the Army? What would he do if he was wounded and couldn’t tell the person he loved?

When I ran for public office in 2006, I became the first Iraq war veteran to be elected to Congress. Unfortunately, my time in the House of Representatives will be coming to an end soon — but I still have some unfinished business. Last May, I promised those young men and women whom I counseled that I would do everything in my power to put an end to DADT so they could serve their country openly and proudly.  

That’s why I led the fight in the House to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” passing historic legislation in May that is now in limbo in the Senate. With Veterans Day coming up on Thursday and only a few weeks left until the Senate’s lame-duck session ends, the clock is running out on repeal — perhaps for years to come.

Now I’m asking you to help me finish the job. With the lame-duck session starting Monday, I need you to sign the Courage Campaign’s petition to Senators Reid, Levin, McConnell and McCain immediately. Once the U.S. Senate is back in session, I’ll deliver your signature — and nearly 600,000 other signatures collected by Courage supporting repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

To amplify the voices of those most impacted by this policy, we’re looking for veterans — and their friends, family and neighbors — to take action before Veterans Day. Whether you are a veteran, or just want to sign on in support, please click one of the following two links:

OPTION 1: Are you a military veteran, a member of a military family, or do you know a veteran? CLICK HERE TO SIGN.

OPTION 2: If you are NOT a veteran, CLICK HERE TO SIGN.

Even though a CNN poll showed that 78% of Americans think the ban should end and even though the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs have said it should end, John McCain and others still think this is a political issue.

It’s not a political issue. It’s a matter of national security. It’s a matter of integrity. It’s a matter of honor.

We’ve worked hard over the last two years to end this discriminatory policy. Let’s get the job done.

Entry filed under: DADT trial.

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53 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rhie  |  November 10, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Scribing

    Reply
    • 2. Kathleen  |  November 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm

      Thank you Rep Murphy for your service and everything you’ve done.

      Reply
    • 3. StraightForEquality  |  November 10, 2010 at 7:43 pm

      Reply
    • 4. JonT  |  November 10, 2010 at 8:25 pm

      Already signed via the email, earlier today.

      PS: and thanks for ‘fixing’ this site today :) Fields are now being filled in, an posts are showing up after Submit :)

      Note to Rhie: chrome was acting the exact same as FF, so I ended up sticking with FF.

      Reply
      • 5. Rhie  |  November 11, 2010 at 6:38 pm

        Ah, fair enough :)

        At least the problem appears to be fixed all over now.

        Reply
    • 6. Ann S.  |  November 11, 2010 at 11:10 am

      §

      Reply
  • 7. Hanou  |  November 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Signed and linked to people.

    Reply
  • 8. Sagesse  |  November 10, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    “It’s not a political issue. It’s a matter of national security. It’s a matter of integrity. It’s a matter of honor.”

    John McCain has no honor.

    Reply
    • 9. Ronnie  |  November 10, 2010 at 7:34 pm

      I concur….<3…Ronnie

      Reply
    • 10. Ed-M  |  November 11, 2010 at 6:22 pm

      Agreed. In the post’s entirety.

      Reply
  • 11. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  November 10, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I signed the petition, and shared the link on my Facebook page. Who wants to join me in that? All of you are welcome to do so, especially all my fellow veterans, regardless of what branch you were in or whether you served during peacetime or time of conflict.

    Reply
    • 12. StraightForEquality  |  November 10, 2010 at 7:57 pm

      I just signed.

      Reply
    • 13. Chris in Lathrop  |  November 11, 2010 at 7:09 am

      I just signed, and I will FB it.

      I’m reminded of a line from Colonel Jessup in “A Few Good Men”: “We follow orders son. We follow orders, or people die. It’s that simple. Are we clear?” Proper soldiers/sailors/marines/airmen do not take these matters into their own hands. Period. The ones who do, are not fit to serve.

      Reply
  • 14. chamisaguy  |  November 10, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Done, as a retired USAF officer who wants this putrid law to end!

    Reply
  • 15. Straight Ally #3008  |  November 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Signed, and I’ll forward it to some friends I know will sign it.

    Reply
  • 16. BK  |  November 11, 2010 at 1:15 am

    I like this guy.

    Reply
  • 17. Rhonda  |  November 11, 2010 at 5:48 am

    happy veterans day!

    Reply
  • 18. Ronnie  |  November 11, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Here, on the Veteran’s Day, is a message from Service-members Legal Defense Network……<3…Ronnie:

    Reply
    • 19. Judy  |  November 11, 2010 at 10:35 am

      Thank you, Ronnie. I posted the URL on Facebook. The audio is a bit crackly, but it makes a great statement on this Veteran’s Day.

      Reply
  • 20. Nick  |  November 11, 2010 at 7:19 am

    I just signed. A member of my family is currently serving in the Marines in Afghanistan (did I spell that right)?

    Reply
    • 21. Ed-M  |  November 11, 2010 at 6:30 pm

      Yep. Perfectly right.

      Reply
  • 22. Paulie  |  November 11, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Why are we trying to sell the idea that this isn’t political?

    It’s a CIVIL RIGHTS issue.

    I could give two figs if it happens to ALSO be a “national security” issue. …and I’m happy that many who care highly about national security above all else can have good reason to support us.

    But I will NOT suggest that this is NOT political or that it is NOT about civil rights.

    I care about civil rights and our equal access…MOST.

    Reply
    • 23. Paulie  |  November 11, 2010 at 8:22 am

      I will NOT sign this petition because of of its positioning.

      Reply
    • 24. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  November 11, 2010 at 8:51 am

      I think that what Representative Murphy means by saying that this is not a political issue is that doing the right thing should not be dependent upon whether you are a democrat, a republican, or a tea partier. Civil rights are just purely and simply a matter of honor and integrity. He is trying to tell those who are fighting this to get their heads out of their asses and actually look at the damage they are doing by continuing to support and enforce state-sanctioned discrimination.

      Reply
      • 25. Mouse  |  November 11, 2010 at 12:16 pm

        I also understood that to mean that there is not a liberal and a conservative position on this issue that are both equally valid for debate; there’s simply a right and a wrong.

        DADT is wrong. Enforcing it is wrong. Keeping it as the law of the land is wrong. No matter what your political leanings are, DADT is wrong and should be repealed.

        Reply
      • 26. Ed-M  |  November 11, 2010 at 6:36 pm

        Try telling this to the 22% who are so ChristPsychotic, they can’t get their brains around the idea of separation of Church and State OR the fact that being “homosexual” (LGBTIQQ) isn’t a sin… let alone that LGBTIQQ persons are equally entitled to all human rights that S persons are simply for being HUMAN… of course, the ChristPsychotics probably don’t believe we are human… they probably believe deep down in their hearts that we’re all illegal aliens from Hell and should be sent back there tout de suite…. Grrrrhhh… >|

        Reply
  • 27. Don in Texas  |  November 11, 2010 at 8:51 am

    I signed Rep. Murphy’s petition and noted that I am a 74-year old former officer in the U. S. Army. I served during the Cold War era and noted in “comments” that I served with honor and dignity with gay men and lesbians in uniform.

    It is past time to end this discriminatory, dishonorable practice.

    Reply
    • 28. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  November 11, 2010 at 8:58 am

      Thank you, Don. I am proud to see my fellow veterans, regardless of their sexual orientation, joining forces to eliminate this discrimination. Happy Veteran’s Day. I also made note when I signed about the fact that my first husband (even though we were not able to legally marry before he was killed in a plane crash) was a veteran of the USMC who served in-country during Vietnam, and whose unit knew and did not care about his orientation. My current husband (we are getting legally married in CT next Thursday) is also a veteran with time in-country during Vietnam (USAF), and who was also open. As I also noted, when you are in the combat arena, the only thing that matters to you is whether your brothers and sisters in uniform have been properly trained and know how to do their jobs and actually do their jobs. When you are in the combat arena, you don’t have time or mind space to concern yourself with who is bumping uglies with whom (my apologies to the screenwriters for Tango and Cash.) All you have time to concern yourself with is getting the job done.

      Reply
      • 29. Don in Texas  |  November 11, 2010 at 2:12 pm

        Congratulations on your coming wedding!

        Reply
    • 30. Paulie  |  November 11, 2010 at 5:35 pm

      Nice post Don.

      Reply
  • 31. Michael  |  November 11, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I served from 1979 to 1984. To all those who served who post here, thank you for your service.

    I also signed the letter. While I’m hopeful something positive will come out of it, with the way things are right now, I’m of the opinion it won’t happen, at least through Congress. I’m thinking it’ll be the courts that will end up ending this idiotic policy.

    One other point: back in 2003 or 2004, I met a lot of the Arabic interpreters who had been thrown out of the military. They were thrown out due to DADT. It makes me wonder: if these people had been allowed to serve, would 9/11 have happened? I don’t mean to start a flame war, but after talking to some of them, it just made me wonder.

    Reply
    • 32. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  November 11, 2010 at 9:42 am

      Michael: I don’t think the retention of the these interpreters would have completely prevented 9/11, but it would have helped. The events of 9/11 represent a multi-pronged failure on the part of our government. Military INtelligence was ignored, FBI and CIA ignored obvious signs, and even those who were in the “war room” in the White House ignored and/or otherwise overlooked clues as to what was about to happen. DADT is only part of the problem that led to 9/11, but you are right to realize that it contributed. And it probably contributed more than we will ever know, because the politicians who are in John McLame’s corner on this will never admit just how badly they screwed up by not refusing this policy in the first place. And yes, I blame Clinton for not standing up to them and insisting on full rights for our LGBT service members to be able to serve openly back in 1993. DADT should NEVER have happened. But since it did, we should all gather together to push for its demise, and for that demise to be NOW!!!!

      Reply
      • 33. Michael  |  November 11, 2010 at 10:30 am

        Richard, I’ll agree with you on your first point. Maybe they would have helped had they been on active duty.

        Reply
    • 34. Ed-M  |  November 11, 2010 at 6:45 pm

      Michael, I don’t bthink keeping all the Arabic Interpreters who were gay in the Armed Forces would have prevented 9/11… Bush and Cheney got enough info that they could have prevented it if they wanted to… instead they were indifferent… they thought the bureaucracy would prevent it from happening while they themselves were changing the bureaucracy’s Standard Operating Procedures… fact: the day before 9/11/01 the FAA’s SOP for reporting hijackings was changed so they had to go through the SOD instead of directly calling up the nearest base and the rest is history… I’m not inferring MIHOP or even LIHOP mind you… but keeping the LGBT interpreters on board could very well have saved many lives in Iraq… the roadside bombs had advanced warning signs, except the signs were written in Arabic. With no interpreter (because he was sacked due to DADT) the vehicles didn’t know and ran right over an IED… :(

      Reply
      • 35. Michael  |  November 11, 2010 at 7:50 pm

        Hmmmmm – never realized that.

        Reply
  • 36. Sagesse  |  November 11, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Apologies if this has been posted, and I’m not familiar with the source…. that said

    Pentagon: It’s Safe to Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

    http://www.newser.com/story/105106/pentagon-finds-its-safe-to-repeal-dont-ask-dont-tell.html

    Reply
  • 38. Bob  |  November 11, 2010 at 11:12 am

    the report ends by saying even if they don’t repeal DADT, they should stop the ban on sodomy between consenting adults:::::

    whaaat

    Reply
    • 39. nightshayde  |  November 11, 2010 at 11:26 am

      I think they’re acknowledging that straight people engage in the same behaviors & that it’s really none of the military’s business what goes on in the bedrooms of consenting adults.

      I think it’s also a way of saying “it’s not about the sex.” If it’s ok for straight couples to do it, there would be no logical reason to say it’s not ok for gay couples to do the same.

      Reply
      • 40. Bob  |  November 11, 2010 at 11:50 am

        Well I’d say those qucik thinking heterosexuals (On top, and wanting to ride) once again found a way to kick the gays to the side, even if DADT isn’t repealed, they want to legally mount their women from behind and stick it to them, maybe a small concession to the gay guys, who could then have the same sexual freedom, just don’t ask or tell while doing it.

        Reply
        • 41. Ed-M  |  November 11, 2010 at 6:50 pm

          Britain had the same situation for a few years until they, too decided or were compelled to lift their ban on openly LGBT soldiers… of course we could have the same situation, too but for a few decades… due to the fact that we’re a socially backwards country badly infected with hateful, homophobic, doctrinaire brands of Christianity that could be summed up in one word: ChristPsychosis.

          I mean, look at Mexico! It’s already recognizing same-sex marriage nationwide (of course, they’re only done in Mexico City but still…)

          Reply
      • 42. Mouse  |  November 11, 2010 at 12:28 pm

        It strikes me as a way of saying they haven’t figured out that it’s not about sex.

        In the middle of a conversation about equal rights, they suddenly work the conversation to be about buttsex and you realize that’s what they’ve been thinking about the whole time.

        Reply
    • 43. Kathleen  |  November 11, 2010 at 11:40 am

      I’m sure this is referring to Article 125 of the UCMJ
      http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/usc_sec_10_00000925—-000-.html

      As nightshayde says, this article is gender neutral and, at least as it applies to consensual sex between adults, would seem to be in conflict with the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence.

      Reply
      • 44. Sagesse  |  November 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm

        The history is that Article 125 of the UCMJ predates DADT, from the time when LGBT servicemembers were discharged if they were discovered. The military regulates personal conduct that is not controlled in civilian life. For example, adultery is an infraction in the the military, but it has no legal ramifications for civilians.

        Arguably after Lawrence v Texas, Article 125 is unenforceable, like all the state sodomy laws… except, it’s the military. DADT didn’t enact Article 125, and the repeal legislation doesn’t get rid of it. It’s a nasty loose end, and needs to be dealt with.

        Reply
    • 45. Steve  |  November 11, 2010 at 11:55 am

      They know very well that it’s hardly enforced and totally outdated.

      No one is prosecuted for sodomy alone. They only use that to tack in some more charges in cases like rape.

      Reply
  • 46. Ronnie  |  November 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lt-dan-choi/veterans-day-gay-veterans_b_781664.html

    Lt. Dan Choi
    Posted: November 11, 2010 09:09 AM
    Veterans Day: How Gay Veterans Are Fighting a War at Home

    “As we fight to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” we know that this fight can easily be more painful than physical combat, as the people we fought to protect subject us to the harsh bigotry of popularity polls and the soft bigotry of political inaction. Caught in this battlefield, it is easy to claim victimhood and suffocate in the sadness of national betrayal. Gay Americans, like all scapegoated and stigmatized minorities in America’s history, know this feeling all too well. But just as all the patriots who had to come home to fight for equality, we cannot heal our injuries by permanent sorrow and self-pity. The only treatment that can heal the wounds of betrayal and hatred is a recommitment to fight for each other, to stand up for each other, to love one another.” ~ Lt. Dam Choi

    (me) although just one paragraph from this very well written piece by Lt. Dan Choi, It says so much….from me… my feeling towards those who are Heterosexual & are against Equality & every thing LGBT related, including LGBT soldiers serving openly & honestly with integrity & honor….is that they (anti-gay/Equality) are ungrateful selfish brats….It’s ok that LGBT people risk their lives for the freedom of ALL Americans as long as they don’t let it be publicly known that they are LGBT…..unacceptable Homophobic Ingrates…I thank Lt Dan Choi for his honorable service to this country & the same for ALL soldiers…LGBT & Straight….<3…Ronnie

    Reply
    • 47. Ronnie  |  November 11, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      Uggg,,,,typos….

      “As we fight to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” we know that this fight can easily be more painful than physical combat, as the people we fought to protect subject us to the harsh bigotry of popularity polls and the soft bigotry of political inaction. Caught in this battlefield, it is easy to claim victimhood and suffocate in the sadness of national betrayal. Gay Americans, like all scapegoated and stigmatized minorities in America’s history, know this feeling all too well. But just as all the patriots who had to come home to fight for equality, we cannot heal our injuries by permanent sorrow and self-pity. The only treatment that can heal the wounds of betrayal and hatred is a recommitment to fight for each other, to stand up for each other, to love one another.” ~ Lt. Dan Choi

      Reply
  • 48. Bob  |  November 11, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    “the military’s suicide rate has reached historic preportions, almost doubling that of the rest of society”

    finally some mention of suicide in the military, DADT prevents the stats from showing how many of those are LGBT,

    wonder how it compares with teen suicide,???? I know there are a lot more contributing factors but it would still be intereting to get some more specifics re the high rate of suicide in the military…

    Reply
    • 49. Aimee Ford Conner  |  November 11, 2010 at 5:50 pm

      You make a good point

      But (here I go) I don’t know if it’s completely fair to compare these suicides to teens, simply because a lot of these veterans who are suiciding are straight, and just not getting the support they need. Either way, it’s awful, though.

      Reply
      • 50. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  November 11, 2010 at 10:14 pm

        There is also the fact that many of the military personnel who are committing suicide are returning from there second, third or fourth deployment, with deployments so close together that they actually have no recovery/decompression/readjustment time in between those deployments, and that can be directly attributed to the severe losses caused by the discrimination of DADT.

        Reply
  • 51. Aimee Ford Conner  |  November 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    It’s a matter of Honor. It’s a matter of being proud of this great country, and who we are as a people. Thank you, Rep. Murphy.

    Reply
  • 52. Ed-M  |  November 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Signed and shared on facebook.

    Reply
  • 53. Joe  |  November 12, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Representative Murphy, Thank you for you service to our country, and thank you for representing us! We are forever in your debt!

    Reply

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