Military Campaign Releases Video Featuring Straight Allies for Equality

6/18/2013

Press Contacts:

Angela Dallara
Communications Associate, Freedom to Marry
angela@freedomtomarry.org
646-430-3925

Zeke Stokes
Director of External Engagement, OutServe-SLDN
zeke@outserve-sldn.org
202-621-5406

Washington, DC – Today, Freedom to Marry and OutServe-SLDN released the latest video in their “Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry” campaign series, featuring three prominent straight allies – Retired Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, Army Major Mary Bergner, and former Congressman and Army Captain Patrick Murphy – speaking out in support of married gay and lesbian service members. The so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevents legally married same-sex couples from receiving over 1,100 federal protections that opposite-sex couples receive.

“What a tremendous day when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was repealed,” says Retired Rear Admiral Barnett in the video. “The challenge now is not letting anybody think that it’s over. There’s still law that embeds discrimination.”

“I always fought for equality and believed in equality,” adds Army Major Bergner.

The video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMxDSXQFW2k.

This is the final pre-DOMA decision video of a year-long series by Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry to highlight the harms of DOMA on service people. Previously released videos feature married same-sex military couples such as the late Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan of the New Hampshire National Guard and her wife KarenCaptain Steve M. Hill and his husband Josh Snyder; and Major Shannon McLaughlin and her wife Casey.

“America’s gay and lesbian service members are just as brave, courageous, and heroic as non-gay soldiers, yet they are still barred from sharing in the critical safety-net of protections that come with being legally married,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. “No service member should have to worry about their family while they are risking their lives overseas. It’s time for the federal government to give gay and lesbian soldiers, their military spouses, and their families the same respect and support that non-gay soldiers receive, and strike down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.”

“As we await the Supreme Court’s decision, we are reminded that this is not just a gay or lesbian issue. This goes to the heart of readiness, retention, and cohesion, and America’s service members and veterans - no matter what their sexual orientation - know that this is a discriminatory and harmful law that must be relegated to the dustbins of history,” said Army Veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson.

For more information on Freedom to Serve, Freedom to Marry, visit www.freedomtomarry.org/serve.

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Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.

OutServe-SLDN is the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel with more than fifty chapters and 6000 members around the world. It works to support a professional network of LGBT military personnel and create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org.