Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" 2007 Action of Immediate Witness

WHEREAS our Unitarian Universalist Principles call us to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person and to promote justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;

WHEREAS under a federal law, commonly referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), the U.S, military discharges gay, lesbian and bi-sexual service members solely because of their sexual orientation;

WHEREAS DADT requires gay service members to lie as a condition of service;

WHEREAS there are over one million gay veterans and at least sixty-five thousand gay people currently serving in the U.S. military;

WHEREAS DADT undermines military readiness by discouraging thousands of patriotic and talented Americans from serving in the military;

WHEREAS under DADT, over 11,000 service members have been discharged, including many with critical skills, such as Arabic linguists;

WHEREAS each year, approximately .3,000 gay service members leave the military rather than continuing to serve under the stress of DADT;

WHEREAS taxpayers have spent over .360 million dollars training replacements for personnel discharged under DADT;

WHEREAS a 1993 Rand Report concluded the U,S. military could lift the gay ban without detriment to readiness and numerous subsequent studies conclude there is no empirical evidence to support DADT;

WHEREAS, twenty-four nations allow gays to serve openly, including Israel, Britain, Australia and Canada, with no negative effect on military readiness or unit cohesion;

WHEREAS American troops are serving with openly gay troops from twelve countries in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom and nine countries in Operation Iraqi Freedom;

WHEREAS support for repealing DADT has tremendous momentum;

WHEREAS in February 2007, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1246), calling for the repeal of DADT, was introduced in Congress and already has 1'24 bipartisan co-sponsors;

WHEREAS in the l10th Congress, hearings on DADT are expected to be held and a Senate bill calling for repeal of DADT is very likely to be introduced;

WHEREAS leaders instrumental in creating DADT, General John Shalikashvili, who was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when DADT was adopted, and President Clinton, who signed the law, now support gays serving openly;

WHEREAS recent polls show that 6.3% - 79% of Americans and 91 % of 18-29-year olds support gays serving openly;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 2007 General Assembly delegates express their strongest possible support for immediate repeal of DADT and implementation of a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the U.S. Military; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the delegates call upon the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, their individual members and friends, and affiliate organizations, to pledge themselves to work for repeal by:

  • Sending letters, e-mails and petitions urging repeal of DADT to the President and Members of Congress;
  • Supporting elected officials who are committed to repealing DADT;
  • Writing local newspapers and participating in internet blogs; and
  • Getting resolutions from city, county and state governments and other influential organizations demanding repeal of DADT.