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Gay, straight veterans lobby Senate on DADT

WASHINGTON - Servicemembers United held its fall 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT) Lobby Day on Thursday on Capitol Hill during which veteran, active duty and civilian members visited the office of every U.S. senator to call for the repeal of DADT.

In addition to sit-down meetings with Senate staffers, Servicemembers United members also hand-delivered copies of DADT expert Nathaniel Frank's groundbreaking book "Unfriendly Fire" to every Senate office.

"As the most critical moment in the history of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' looms, these troops, veterans, and supporters are demonstrating an uncanny dedication to seeing this law banished to history," said Alexander Nicholson, founder and executive director of Servicemembers United. "It's all hands on deck for us right now, and these citizen lobbyists are certainly doing their part in this fight."

Added Dr. Nathaniel Frank, author of "Unfriendly Fire," "As Servicemembers United engages those lawmakers who are open to a better military policy - one based on honesty, integrity, and truth - citizens from states across the nation wanted their Senators to have the real facts about DADT."

"They're sending 'Unfriendly Fire' to Congress to give their political leaders the research they need to understand the high costs of this failed policy. This book shines a light on the true stories of the gay and lesbian troops who are fighting valiantly despite the harms of DADT. With evidence from the real world of openly gay service, veterans, voters, and their representatives in Congress have another weapon for the 'final assault' on this odious law."

Servicemembers United also simultaneously hosted a first-ever Military Partners Forum for the partners of active duty gay and lesbian troops. During one component of this daylong event, gay and lesbian military partners met with the senior staff of the Comprehensive Review Working Group on DADT.

Servicemembers United launched its Campaign for Military Partners initiative in 2009 to reach out to, connect, and support the partners of gay and lesbian service personnel.

For more information about Servicemembers United and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," please visit www.ServicemembersUnited.org. For more information about the Campaign for Military Partners, see www.MilitaryPartners.org.