by Jared Allen and Bob Cusack | The Hill
The Pentagon’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy will be nothing but a memory by year’s end, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared Wednesday.
by Kerry Eleveld | The Advocate
The Advocate has learned that concurrent meetings took place Monday morning at the White House and on Capitol Hill that could help clear the way for “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal to be attached to the Department of Defense authorization bill later this week.
The United States is appalled by the conviction and sentencing of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza to 14 years in jail with hard labor under Malawian law for violating Malawi Penal Code Chapter 15, Section 153 and 156, under which they had been charged with “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” and “gross indecency.” The conviction and sentencing are a significant step backward for the Government of Malawi’s human rights record. Malawi must abide by its human rights obligations.
We view the criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity and sentencing to 14 years hard labor as a deeply troubling violation of human rights. Decriminalization of homosexuality is integral to the continued protection of universal human rights in Malawi. It is also crucial to the urgent need to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS – a fight in which the United States is closely allied with the Malawian people.
We remain disturbed by harassment, persecution, and exclusion based on sexual orientation or gender identity wherever it occurs. The State Department will continue to stand against any efforts to marginalize, criminalize, and penalize members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-gender community worldwide. We urge Malawi and all countries with similar laws to take the necessary measures to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular arrests, detentions, or executions.
This week, game-changing votes in the U.S. House and Senate could make or break the fate of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) repeal efforts in 2010. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) is expected to offer an amendment to the House version of the Defense Authorization bill that would overturn DADT. Similar action is also expected in the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 26.
The fight for this repeal in 2010 hangs in the balance. A few votes could make the difference between victory and defeat. Each Representative’s vote will count.
And that’s why we and our friends at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network need your help right now.
Ask your Member of Congress for the repeal vote. Click here to find your Representative. Then call them at (202) 225-3121 and let them know that waiting another year for repeal is not an option.
We are on the brink of victory, but we aren’t there yet.
We can make this week’s House vote a historic win if we pull out all the stops and push even harder now. We are closer to achieving repeal than ever before.
Help us get to the finish line.