Integrity USA celebrates the end of Don'T Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) today. In the words of Senator Joe Lieberman:"Removing a legalized form of discrimination from our books is not a liberal or a conservative idea, a Republican or Democratic idea -- it's an American idea consistent with American values. We've come to the point in our history, I hope when neither race nor religion, ethnicity nor sexual orientation should deprive Americans from serving our country."
"We applaud our congress for bringing an end to the institutionalized discrimination against gay and lesbian service members," said Max Niedzwiecki, Executive Director of Integrity USA. "Integrity USA has opposed this policy since its inception in 1993. As people of faith, respecting the dignity of every human being is at the core of our values and there is no asterisk that says *unless a person is gay."
"Today is a great day for America and a triumph of honesty over homophobia," said Canon Randolph Kimmler, a former Integrity Board member and Coast Guard veteran. "There have always been gays in the military. It has been a shameful thing that close to 14000 military careers were halted due to DADT's discriminatory policy. These are people who really want to serve and protect our country. These are qualified people who brings the skills and gifts of who they are to the service of our country. When we sign up to serve and protect our country, we bring the values of loyalty, duty, mutual respect, integrity, honor and personal courage with us. These are common values all service persons share. We are not a distraction, we are a valuable asset and the time is long overdue to recognize that."
The Rev. David Norgard, President of Integrity USA said, "We give thanks to all those who worked so hard and so long to defeat DADT. Americans from all walks of life spoke out, rallied, wrote letters, preached from pulpits, and protested against DADT. We finally won this battle but the war against homophobia continues and we stand ready to challenge it wherever and whenever necessary."
"Our prayers today also extend to one exceptionally brave soldier, Lt. Dan Choi, who was among the first to put a face on those discriminated against in the military, He was recently hospitalized for exhaustion. We wish him a speedy recovery and deep gratitude for his great work."
Integrity USA has advocated for inclusion within the Episcopal Church for over 35 years. To support us in this work, donate here.