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Senator Bill Nelson Pledges to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
Equality Florida continues to work with state, local and national partners in targeting
Florida’s Congressional Delegation to overturn discriminatory law
(TAMPA) Florida’s US Senator Bill Nelson has joined the effort to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), the discriminatory law that bans gay, lesbian and bisexual service members from serving openly and honestly in the military. Following months of emails, phone calls and in-person lobbying, Nelson’s office just announced that the Senator plans to vote in favor of a compromise amendment made public on Monday by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.).
Nelson sits on the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, which is expected to consider, later this week, the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during its markup of the fiscal year 2011 Defense Authorization bill.
Equality Florida has worked to put pressure on Nelson for months as part of a coalition of local, state and national organizations, chief among them Progress Florida, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and the Human Rights Campaign. On Tuesday alone, more than 2200 supporters had responded to the latest Equality Florida action alert. By midday, Nelson announced his commitment to vote for repeal.
"As a lesbian who left the U.S. Air Force Academy in the midst of anti-gay witch hunts in the mid-80s, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is particularly personal." said Nadine Smith, executive director for Equality Florida. "Senator Bill Nelson now stands with the majority of Americans who believe this law is wrong and that discrimination in the military must end.”
The momentum for repeal is growing nationally and in Florida and includes an unprecedented level of military support.
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.