Lt. Dan Choi, who has fought tirelessly since day one for the repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, has written the following statement in response to the HUGE step toward progress our country is finally taking!
No revolution towards justice ever went backwards. To all the supporters of equality and Don't Ask Don't Tell's death, I am so grateful. The road has not been easy. We have learned many important lessons about social justice, movements, supporting each other, and speaking out against discrimination.
The mission is not finished; it has only just begun. The most critical mission is supporting and encouraging closeted soldiers to finally access their full integrity, dignity, and humanity. This mission is in keeping with the first lessons learned at West Point or basic training. As the legislation signals a new chapter in our journey, we can be sure that our work has only begun. I call on all soldiers to gain the courage to come out. First come out to yourselves, then tell your trusted friends and family. Tell everyone who you trust and who deserves nothing less than truth. Stop hating yourselves as your country has signaled for so long. Furthermore, your coming out is not for you. It is for all those who come after. Military service is not about rank, pension or paycheck. Climbing the ladder is shameful without true purity of service and I applaud those who give up the superficial artifacts of career in favor of complete integrity and justice.
I denounce the fear-mongering of John McCain and others who do our country a grave disservice by their bigotry and calcified retardation. His outlandish remarks that justice will result in amputations demonstrates the ridiculousness of his entire argument. His silliness proves the fight for justice has no real logical debate; you are on one side or the other. John McCain, you are on the wrong side of history. Your feet wade in the toxic septic waste of rabid hate-mongers who perpetuate America's injustice. It is your argument that has been amputated today; your claims have no legs to stand.
President Obama, you are not off the hook. The compromise bill passed today puts the moral imperative squarely on your desk. Sign an executive order instituting a full non-discrimination policy throughout the military. If you do not, if you drag your feet and politicize this with your theoretical calculations as you have these past two years, you will be guilty of abetting those who loudly proclaim homophobia from their platforms and pulpits. Provide them no shelter or safe haven. Institute justice now.
Do not compare this to the integration of racial and religious minorities in the 1940's and 1950's. Integration of gay people has already happened. This is one inherent difference between our civil rights movement and that of the past decades. We are integrated, we simply fight for our integrity. As each civil rights movement fights for access to a particular resource, it is clear that the gay rights movement fights for access to dignity and our own integrity. This struggle only begins.
I intend to rejoin the military and serve in any capacity I can be of best use. I intend to marry and have a family of my own. We are living in a truly historic moment where we can enjoy the rewards of our efforts. We stand on the shoulders of many who have come before us, from Air Force Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich to our present day heroes. We owe it to them to continue fighting. Our loudness does not distract but enhances the fight. Our direct action puts wind in the sails of lobbyists and political elites who do our bidding on the inside. We are one team with one goal: Equality in our lifetime. I do not intend to waver or retreat in pursuit of this new life purpose and mission, and neither should any American who loves justice.
Such an inspiration!
Thanks for the heartfelt and TRUE words, bb!
EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL!
[Image via WENN.]