California Democratic Representative, Susan Davis has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, a bill to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual service members.
Ms Davis, whose district includes parts of San Diego, became the 115th Member of Congress to co-sponsor the legislation.
“Congresswoman Davis’s support is especially noteworthy because of her large military constituency,” said C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN).
“San Diego is home to more than 21,000 lesbian and gay veterans and more than 317,000 military personnel. Congresswoman Davis carries enormous respect with military leaders in her district. Her sponsorship of this legislation sends a clear message that repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is in the best interest of our armed forces.”
The Military Readiness Enhancement Act was introduced in March 2005 by Massachusetts’s Democratic Representative Marty Meehan. It is currently pending at the House Armed Services Committee, where Congresswoman Davis is a member.
“While reviewing this bill, I examined the issue of gays and lesbians in the military closely and consulted with the diverse stakeholders in this important topic,” she said in a statement.
“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I also take my responsibility to ensure the highest level of military readiness very seriously. Over the course of the last year, I questioned high-ranking members of the armed forces, active duty military personnel, veterans, military families, members of the LGBT community, my congressional colleagues and other interested groups.
“These exchanges helped me to understand and ultimately dismiss the argument that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military would negatively impact military readiness, as some have stated. After consulting this diverse sounding board, it is clear to me that the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy is a political invention that does not serve the real needs of our armed forces and should be repealed.”
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