FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Anita Aboulafia firstname.lastname@example.org 212-267-6646, ext. 225
NYCLA Adopts Report and Recommendation Supporting Repeal of Ban on Military Service by Openly Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Individuals
December 16, 2010 – NEW YORK, NY – On December 6, the New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) adopted a report and recommendation of its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues Committee regarding support for the repeal of the ban on military service by openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals. NYCLA, which was founded on the principles of equality and inclusion, urges Congress to pass either Section 536 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2011 or the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 (that the House of Representatives passed on December 15). NYCLA hopes that such passage is the first step toward the full and unconditional repeal of the ban on military service by openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals.
The Report notes:
“NYCLA is opposed to the ban on military service by openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals because it embodies unjustified and irrational discrimination, denies qualified men and women the opportunity to serve their country, deprives the military of their talents, and undercuts the principles upon which our nation was founded. While NYCLA believes that the best solution is the immediate and unqualified removal of the ban on military service by openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals, NYCLA acknowledges that Section 536 to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 constitute a step in the right direction and that either of them is preferable to preserving the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.’’
Among the reasons cited in NYCLA’s Report in support of the repeal, is “’The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law is unique in that it is the only federal, state, or local law in the United States that expressly requires an individual to be fired for his or her sexual orientation.”
Moreover, the Report indicates, “’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has taken an unnecessary toll on our Armed Forces at a time when our military and economy are stressed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A 2005 report by the U.S. Government Accounting Office to Congress estimated that among the total discharges under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” were more than 750 service members designated “mission critical’’ (a group that includes medics and fighter pilots) and over 320 service members with critical language skills in Arabic, Farsi, and Korean.”
To read the report, visit www.nycla.org and scroll down to the News section on the homepage.
The New York County Lawyers’ Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.
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