Friday, December 17, 2010

Gerry Connolly on Repealing DADT

By now, most of you have probably heard that a DADT repeal passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 250-175. As we're waiting for the Senate to take up the measure, I think it's important to take a look at what Congressman Gerry Connolly said on the floor of the House.

Gerry pointed out several of the arguments that we've already been hearing. That our armed forces already serve alongside openly gay soldiers from other countries and that many of the folks dismissed from our armed services had skills that are extremely important to the military. In other words, we've already seen that allowing open service won't harm our troops. In fact, it'll help them by maintaining personnel who can help strengthen our efforts.

What I really want to draw attention to is how Gerry mentioned the financial costs that this discriminatory policy is costing our country.
It is estimated that American taxpayers have paid between $250 million and $1.2 billion to investigate, eliminate, and replace qualified, patriotic service members who want to serve their country but can’t because expressing their sexual orientation violates DADT.
Since the Republican leadership in Congress have clearly illustrated recently that they'll put the potential for any savings before doing what's right for the country, this might be the argument that needs to be stressed as folks are calling members of the Senate. After all, it'll give them a way to reduce the deficit at the same time that they are helping our national security and doing away with a discriminatory policy.

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