Dan Choi endorses Joe Sestak for U.S. Senate (PA)

NOTE FROM PAM: On the heels of this news I can announce that Dan Choi (and now, hopefully Rep. Sestak) will appear on the Blend for a live blog on December 14. I'll have final confirmation soon. Blenders can ask questions about DADT repeal, Rep. Joe Sestak and the work to remove institutionalized discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military.


For Immediate Release: December 7, 2009
(610) 891-8956, or

Lieutenant Dan Choi Endorses Joe Sestak for Senate

Leading Voice for Ending “Don't Ask, Don't Tell”

MEDIA, PA – Lieutenant Dan Choi, who has become the leading voice for ending the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, made his way to Pennsylvania to support the Senate candidacy of Joe Sestak, who graduated second in his class from the U.S. Naval Academy. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and fighting in the Iraq War, Choi has become one of thousands of service members discharged from the military based on sexual preferences. Since then, Choi has traveled the country, speaking out in support of true equality for LGBT Americans, especially those who have shown the courage to defend our national security.

“Putting the Army-Navy rivalry aside, I'm here to support Joe Sestak,” Choi said. “Joe understands that equal rights for gay and lesbian people is the civil rights test of our generation. As the highest ranking Veteran ever elected to Congress, he spent 31 years serving our country in the Navy fighting for our rights. He has been a leader in working to end “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” and as Pennsylvania's next Senator, Joe Sestak will continue to put principle over politics.”

Joe's Senate campaign recently delivered a petition to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid to “Tell Congress: End Don't Ask Don't Tell.”  The petition called for passage of the Military Enhancement Readiness Act, which Joe previosuly co-sponsored.

“I am so grateful to have Lieutenant Choi's support,” Joe said. “He has become the leading voice for ending the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy. Having seen their dedication, their allegiance, and their sacrifices, how can I — or anyone — not say that these men and women deserve the right to be respected as equal members of the Armed Forces and our society, regardless of their sexual orientation. We must act now so that we can stop turning our back on so many who have served so honorably.”

Joe Sestak was elected to Congress in 2006 after a distinguished 31-year career in the United States Navy, and he is honored to represent the Southeastern Pennsylvania district where he was born and raised. He is a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania.  During his Navy career, Joe attained the rank of 3-star Admiral, served in the White House as Director for Defense Policy on President Clinton's National Security Council, served in the Pentagon as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, and led a series of operational commands at sea, culminating in command of the USS George Washington Aircraft Carrier Battle Group (30 ships, 100 aircraft, and 15,000 sailors/marines/ aviators/SEALs) during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In our nation's time of crisis in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the Navy turned to Joe Sestak to serve as the first Director of “Deep Blue,” the Navy anti-terrorism unit formed in response to the attacks. Joe is the highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to either branch of Congress. He graduated second in his class from the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a Master's in Public Administration and a PhD in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. Joe lives in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Susan, and daughter, Alex, and proudly represents the 7th District, where his mother and many of his eight siblings still reside.


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