Thursday, August 12, 2010

Veteran Airman to Challenge DADT Discharge in Court

This just in from from SLDN Executive Director, Aubry Sarvis:

[On Wednesday], Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and Morrison & Foerster LLP (MoFo) sought to block the discharge of their client, Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT). 

Nearly 19 years ago Lt. Col. Fehrenbach signed up to serve in the Air Force. Today our nation stands on the verge of losing this highly decorated combat aviator because of this discriminatory law. Flying nearly 90 combat missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, Lt. Col. Fehrenbach is without a doubt an American hero, who has shown time and again he is willing to risk his life for his country. 

Yet even as we are fighting two wars and need the best and brightest, the government is poised to fire yet another brave patriot because he's gay. 

The Air Force Secretary can do the right thing and retain Lt. Col. Fehrenbach under the Pentagon's own recently revised regulations on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." If Secretary Donley does not step in, this nation will lose a service member worth $25 million in training whose skill sets are desperately needed today. 

Lt. Col. Fehrenbach's case demonstrates the urgent need for the Senate to act on pending legislation to repeal DADT.

Upon its return after Labor Day, the Senate must immediately take up and debate the DoD spending bill, which contains language that provides a path to get rid of DADT. 

Urge your two senators to join Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin in pushing for Senate action. 

Contact both your senators today and tell them to repeal DADT. 

The pending discharge of Lt. Col. Fehrenbach dramatically underscores that DADT is still the law and all gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members should be on notice. 

It also sends a clear message that the fight to end DADT is nowhere near finished. The discharges under this terrible law continue as more service members are fired for their sexual orientation. Unless we have full repeal soon, the discharges DADT inflicts upon our service members will not end.

Join SLDN and the entire repeal coalition as we push senators in all 50 states to take up repeal legislation in September. Tell your senators that delaying action on repeal is not an option. Brave patriots like Lt. Col. Fehrenbach have already waited too long for justice. The Senate must do what's right and show due respect to all service members who risk their lives to keep America free.

Contact your senators today and urge them to help Victor by voting to end this discriminatory law. 

Each senator will play a decisive role in the Senate's expected repeal vote next month. Although the Senate is not in session now, the battle to end DADT rages on. Lt. Col. Fehrenbach's potential discharge shows why this is no time for repeal supporters to let up or tune out.

Thank you for contributing your voice to this fight for patriots like Lt. Col. Fehrenbach.

Aubrey Sarvis
SLDN Executive Director
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