UPDATE: Sen. Bill Nelson Co-Sponsors DADT Repeal

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Posted on December 15, 2010 - 7:06pm by Anonymous.

UPDATE: Florida Senator Bill Nelslon has signed on as a sponsor of stand alone legislation to repeal the anti-gay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy.

Click here to send a thank you letter to Senator Nelson for signing on as a co-sponsor of Senate Bill S4023.

Important Development: Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown today announced his support for the stand-alone repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, bringing the bill one vote over the 60-vote threshold that it will need to reach if and when the Senate votes on the measure in the coming weeks.

With the votes likely there, the biggest chellenge that remains is the clock. With just over a week before Christmas, the Senate is only now kicking off debate on the START nuclear treaty and a massive $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.

Republicans take control of the House and gain seats in the Senate when the new Congress kicks off in January. Unless the Senate stays in session long enough to vote, the repeal might not come up again for years.

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Thanks to the hundreds of Equality Florida members who have written and called Senator Nelson over the past few days.

A special shout out to the great work of "Floridians for Repeal" organized by students Edward Kring (FSU), Caitlin Matthews & Stephen Loveless(UWF), Ryan Terrell(TCC), and Josh Jarrett (UCF). Equalty Florida, the Florida Student Coalition, Florida College Democrats GLBT caucus, and the Florida Democratic GLBT caucus all supported this student led effort.

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This is it. The House just voted 250 to 175 to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and we have only a few days left to convince the Senate to do the same.

Click here to send a thank you letter to Senator Nelson for signing on as a co-sponsor of Senate Bill S4023.

The bill will be sent to the Senate as "privileged" legislation, a designation that would allow it to be decided by one up-or-down vote that would require 60 votes to bypass procedural hurdles.

So far 44 Senators have co-sponsored S.4023 which would repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Senator Bill Nelson is not yet a co-sponsor.

Email the Senator right now.

Our military most stop its destructive policy of forcing service members to lie about who they are.

Take a moment to read a letter from an Equality Florida member (below), who needs to remain anonymous, to Senator Nelson describing the harmful impact that "Don't Ask Don't Tell" has on every aspect of life for LGBT service members.

Then send an email to Senator Nelson and urge him to co-sponsor critical legislation that will put a swift end to this discriminatory ban.

Dear Senator Nelson,

I am a military aviator. I am also a Lesbian. I know from experience that, by its very existence, the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy promotes rather than prevents discrimination within our Armed Forces.

Four years ago, my life partner of many years was diagnosed with cancer. Her subsequent battle with this horrible disease was a long and arduous one. For two years, I had to lie in order to explain many ambiguous absences. I worked miracles to be there for her important appointments, major surgeries, first days of radiation and or chemotherapy, her test results and always, always more procedures. But, because of "Don't ask Don't Tell" and the necessity of keeping my relationship secret or losing my career, I had to watch my partner face the fight of her life, essentially alone. I did my best to care for her. But it was torture knowing I couldn't even speak her name, share her existence or legitimately ask for time off, all because of DADT.

Although she will remain in my heart forever, the feelings of anger and frustration I experienced because I could not be with her in her last moments are emotions that will never fade. Even though I know that I brought her great comfort during her most difficult challenges, she would have breathed much easier had I been by her side every step of the way.

Signed,
- A Servicemember, a Veteran and a Floridian who must remain anonymous

Click here to send an email to Senator Nelson

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