SJR 11 - Resolution Supporting the Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Lead Author: Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego)
This resolution calls on Congress and the President to end the discriminatory "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy that prohibits openly gay and lesbian people from serving in the U.S. Military by passing the Military Readiness Act currently pending in Congress.
In the decade since the implementation of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," the Armed Forces have discharged nearly 10,000 able-bodied and willing service members, simply because of their sexual orientation. Aside from being an egregious violation of our Constitutional notions of liberty and justice, the exclusion of lesbian and gay service members is a true menace to our national security.
More than 300 language specialists, with skills in Arabic, Farsi and Korean, have been discharged under this detrimental policy, some of which are included in the nearly 800 service members who served in critical occupations, including counterintelligence operations. According to the February 2005 Government Accountability Office report, the partial cost of this blight on our national defense is approximately $190 million. This is a figure which only accounts for recruiting and re-training replacements for the thousands of capable and devoted service members who were discharged under "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell."
Since post-September 11th combat operations ensued in Afghanistan and Iraq, discharges under "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" have plummeted to their lowest level since 1994, when this policy was implemented. This represents the tacit recognition by the Armed Forces that lesbian and gay service members can serve capably and honorably. It should be the policy of the Armed Forces to accept all Americans who wish to serve their country. For security and for equality, it is imperative that "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" be repealed.
STATUS: Passed by Legislature. Now official position of the State of California
BACKGROUND ON SJR 11:
Date Last Modified: 4/25/2008