FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2011
CONTACT: Jorge Amaro, Equality California
PHONE: 562-964-3591 EMAIL: jorgeATeqcaDOTorg
Equality California Sponsors Resolution by Senator Kehoe Calling on Military to Cease Practice of Fining Discharged Lesbian, Gay Soldiers
Sacramento - Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) has introduced a resolution (SJR 2), sponsored by Equality California that calls on President Obama, the U.S. Congress and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to stop levying fines against lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members who were discharged under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy.
Although DADT has been found to be unconstitutional as a violation of the First and Fifth Amendments and the U.S. Congress passed a repeal that was signed by the President, the military continues to demand that our brave soldiers who were unfairly discharged by this outrageous policy, pay for their education because they were discharged.
"The U.S. military's practice of requiring our service men and women to lie and then discharging them when they told the truth was unconstitutional and un-American," said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors. "For the government to now charge them--in some cases over $75,000--for having integrity is beyond offensive."
"It is unfair - and additional punishment - that the military would continue to collect charges against soldiers who were discharged under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' even after the law was repealed by President Obama," said Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego). "In many cases, these servicemembers were 'outed' against their will and never intended to deceive the military by withholding their sexual orientation. They certainly shouldn't be expected to repay expenses for their service training."
Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed more than 70 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org