During his post, Ben brings up the fact that he believes the Democrats who didn't sign onto the letter opposing DADT failed to show agressive leadership on this important issue. Considering some of the posts he's written in the past, I don't support some of the subtext behind his move calling out certain Representatives. I do agree, however, that this is an important issue that the officials should have supported.
In a prime example of how an elected official could have taken an aggressive stance in support of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Delegate David Englin made a statement in reply to Ben's post.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is an affront to American values that undermines the U.S. Military's ability to recruit and retain talented Americans who are ready and willing to go into harm's way for the freedom most of us take for granted. How many of the bloggers, pundits, and politicians who talk a good game would actually volunteer to risk death or disability for their fellow citizens? Yet there are gay and lesbian Americans who not only accept the risks of military service, but do so knowing they are defending people who at best don't care to know them and at worst despise them.Granted DADT is a federal issue and David serves in the state government, but this is representative of his history of standing up for progressive ideas and commonsense solutions. I think we need more elected officials who are willing to stand up for what's right and aggressively support ideas that look out for the best interests of the general public. That is especially the case when members of our own party appear to be going back on campaign promises like we're seeing with Obama and many of his stances on gay rights.
Like other forms of official bigotry, this is a stain on our country that Congress and the President ought to erase as soon as possible. All Americans who stand between us and those who would kill or oppress us deserve our deepest gratitude and respect for the sacrifices they make. But sacrificing the right to freely and openly choose one's partner goes beyond the usual sacrifices of military life, and the gay and lesbian service members who are so committed to our protection that they bear that extra burden deserve an extra measure of respect. Kudos to the Members of Congress who are willing to stand up and be counted.
So, with that, I'd like to send a big thank you to David Englin for standing up for common decency and would encourage others to let him know he has their support as well.