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Senate SASC Kills Anti Gay Defense Act

By Charlotte Robinson, May 25, 2012
Breaking: The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) passed its annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) without the adoption of the anti gay amendments that are included in the House version of the bill that limited the use of Department of Defense facilities, affect military chaplains & undermine successful "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal implementation. Aubrey Sarvis , Army veteran & Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Executive Director, stated, "SLDN & our allies have been working on Capitol Hill this year to encourage the Senate Armed Services Committee to pass a common-sense defense spending bill that does not seek to turn the clock back on the progress we have made in this first year of implementation of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal. We now turn our attention to making sure the full Senate passes the committee bill & that the harmful language included in the House version is stripped away in conference committee.” The House bill that passed on May 18th included 2 harmful amendments put forth by homophobic opponents of LGBT military equality. The first would give so-called "conscience protections" to chaplains & service members who do not wish to minister & work with gay & lesbian service members. A threat to military readiness & unit cohesion, this amendment would allow service members to actively harass their fellow comrades for their perceived or actual sexual orientation. It would allow chaplains to discriminate against service members by religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other religious belief simply by arguing that ministering to them would be contrary to their "conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs." This is an excellent way to kick off Memorial Day Holiday Weekend for our gay & lesbian military serving our country. Updates to Come…:)

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