"Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

For Immediate Release, Thursday April 8, 2010

By Affirmation Co-spokesperson Tim Tennant-Jayne

The mainstream media has had quite a number of articles and editorials
lately about the United States military policy commonly referred to as Don't
Ask Don't Tell, or DADT. Technically, this is supposed to mean that
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people don't talk about their
personal lives and officials won't ask about them. Yet in reality, DADT is
what the military uses to prohibit LGBT persons from serving in the U. S.
armed forces. Or to remove them, once officials discover a person's secret.
This results in fewer job and career options for Queer folk, in highly
skilled individuals forced to lie about their true selves to live out their
calling, and in thousands of dollars lost training individuals who are then
not allowed to serve their country. This is an issue that many alternative
media sources serving Queer folk have frequently discussed and reported on
for years.

Finally, after a change of leadership in Washington, D. C., it looks like
there may actually be a realistic opportunity to revoke DADT. President
Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to remove it. In his recent State of
the Union address he called on the leadership of the United States to repeal
this law. The Pentagon has discussed this. Congress has begun the process
of holding hearings about it.

Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and
Queer Concerns is very pleased to see these developments. We hope that the
leadership of this country will come to its senses and repeal DADT. While
this is not a directly church related law, we are encouraged by the removal
of any and all anti-queer legislation.

Ideally, the Church, and specifically The United Methodist Church, should be
at the forefront of social justice in our society. Yet unfortunately, that
is not often the case. Civil society gave women the vote decades before the
church allowed women to serve as clergy. The Methodist Episcopal Church
chose to fracture into several denominations rather than integrate racially.
And even after re-forming into The Methodist Church, decided to continue
segregating the Central Conference. Hopefully, Congress will repeal DADT
and one more form of legal discrimination will end. Ideally The United
Methodist Church will recognize the wisdom of this decision and soon follow
secular society's lead.

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As an independent voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer
people, Affirmation radically reclaims the compassionate and transforming
gospel of Jesus Christ by relentlessly pursuing full inclusion in the Church
as we journey with the Spirit in creating God's beloved community.

Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and
Queer Concerns is an activist, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization
with no official ties to The United Methodist Church.

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