Hello Friends and Advocates,
Sorry for the mass email, but I wanted to reach as many of you as possible with an update on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT).
Frankly, there isn’t much new information since earlier in the summer. Congress is currently not in session during the August recess, and most members of Congress are home campaigning. Congress will return to session on Monday, September 13th.
HRC continues to push for a Senate vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes DADT repeal. Senator Reid indicated that he would like to take the bill up in September. It’s important to keep the pressure on Senate leadership as well as rank and file Senators. The number of congressional work days in September is limited, and there are many bills awaiting Senate action. Because it will take some time to reconcile the differences in the House and Senate versions of the NDAA before the bill reaches the President’s desk, it’s critically important that we push for a Senate vote in September.
As for Virginia’s Senators, I would encourage you to continue applying friendly pressure on Senator Warner. Unfortunately, we do not expect Senator Webb to change his position and support repeal this year. If you are inclined to express disappointment with his office, please remember that he has supported the LGBT community on other issues and we should remain respectful and polite.
Regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), we continue to push for a House vote before the end of the year. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said that she is committed to House action on the bill this year. A House vote on a fully inclusive ENDA would be a significant and historic event. A Senate vote on ENDA looks very difficult this year.
If you have not already done so, please contact your representatives and senators regarding ENDA and DADT repeal. Our Countdown 2010 site is a great tool to help you contact your elected officials. Visit www.countdown2010.hrc.org for more information.
Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the upcoming elections. This is expected to be a particularly bad year for our fair-minded incumbents. A lot of our friends will likely lose their seats, making our work even more challenging next year and in the years to come. I would strongly encourage you to get as involved as possible in your local races, particularly if you live in an area with a hotly contested election. To learn more about the competitive races around the country, try taking a peek at www.cqpolitics.com
Thanks again for all that you have done in the movement to repeal DADT. I firmly believe that all of the hard work will pay off very soon. In about a week I will be deploying to Minnesota to work on that state’s gubernatorial race. We are optimistic that if we can elect Mark Dayton (D) as the next governor from Minnesota that the legislature would work to pass a marriage equality bill to send to his desk. Dayton is strongly pro-marriage equality, so Minnesota might well be the next state to enact full marriage equality! While I expect to remain very busy, please don’t hesitate to email or call if there is anything at all I be helpful with….or if you just want to say hello.
All the best, and I’ll see you around!
Western Regional Field Organizer | Human Rights Campaign
1640 Rhode Island Ave., NW | Washington DC | 20036
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.hrc.org