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Wednesday, January 16 2013

Freedom to Serve

 

The requirements of legitimate defense justify the existence in States of armed forces, the activity of which should be at the service of peace. Those who defend the security and freedom of a country, in such a spirit, make an authentic contribution to peace. Everyone who serves in the armed forces is concretely called to defend good, truth and justice in the world. Many are those who, in such circumstances, have sacrificed their lives for these values and in defense of innocent lives. Very significant in this regard is the increasing number of military personnel serving in multinational forces on humanitarian or peace-keeping missions promoted by the United Nations. (#502)

-- Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 2004

Freedom to Serve Your Country

Tens of thousands of patriotic Americans have been forced out of the military since the passage of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.  Among those forced out are highly decorated members of the armed forces with urgently needed skills, like fluency in Arabic.  The policy is damaging to our national security as well as contrary to basic constitutional values of equality under the law.  A May 2010 CNN poll indicates that 78% of Americans favor allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military.

Catholics for Equality joins the vast majority of Americans who believe in the freedom to serve your country and urges the passage of legislation that would end the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and allow gay men and lesbians to serve proudly and openly in the military.  

Unfortunately, in June 2010, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services urged Congress NOT to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” dismissing the effort to end discrimination against gay and lesbian service members as “merely political considerations” and said that "nothing should be changed until there is certainty that morale will not suffer.”  Back in 1948 President Harry Truman did not succumb to similar warnings against his order to end racial segregation in the military when arguments were made by fundamentalists that segregation was God-ordained and necessary for the social order.

Take Action!

Call or write your Members of Congress and state “I am a Catholic and member of Catholics for Equality from your state and believe that all men and women should be given the freedom to serve their country regardless of sexual orientation.  I ask that you vote for the complete  repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy’ as part of the Defense Authorization Act of 2011.”

     Capitol Hill Switchboard: 202.224.3121

     Contact and Write Your Congressional Representative:  http://writerep.house.gov

     Contact Your Senators: http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

For more information about "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

Wikepedia Basic Facts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_ask,_don't_tell

Human Rights Campaign: http://www.hrc.org/sites/repealdadt

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN): http://www.sldn.org

Servicemembers United: http://www.servicemembersunited.org

OutServe: http://outserve.org

For resources on Catholics and military service, please consult:

http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/peace/consciencewar.shtml


Catholics for Equality © 2010 • Catholics for Equality Foundation © 2010
PO Box 34765 • Washington, DC • 20043-4765 • tele: 202.657.6097