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NC: An April Fools’ Day DADT delivery to Rep. Sue Myrick

It's April Fools' Day. A perfect time for jokes and humor… and a perfect time, as always, to bring more awareness to the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”

Grassroots activists with the Charlotte Rainbow Action Network for Equality (CRANE), myself included, are taking the day as an opportunity to raise awareness and educate locally and statewide, and we're taking our message directly to U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick. 

(Photo right: 13,500 plastic soldiers are standing ready to fill these camo buckets for deliver to Rep. Sue Myrick.)

Our message is clear: Only a fool would stand in the way of our national security and military readiness. “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” is a failed policy and must be repealed now. Rep. Sue Myrick must sign on as a co-sponsor. 

To get our message across, we spent the last month collecting plastic, toy soldiers from community members while engaging them and raising awareness. We've collected 13,500 toy soldiers, each representing the gay and lesbian patriots discharged from service simply because of the sexual orientation. We deliver them to Rep. Myrick with a stern demand: Sign on as a co-sponsor of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act today. 

Our delivery and press conference will take place at 11 a.m., April 1, at Rep. Myrick's Charlotte office. Stay tuned for an update… 

Our full press release, detailing expanded statewide actions targeting Rep. Larry Kissell, Sens. Richard Burr and Hagan and Rep. Mike McIntyre after the jump, along with video from our Feb. 26 press conference kicking off the March on Myrick Campaign…


CONTACT: Matt Comer (Charlotte/CRANE) | 336-391-9528

Activists to deliver 13,500 toy soldiers to Rep. Sue Myrick
Charlotte ‘March on Myrick’ campaign spreads statewide;
Will target Burr, Hagan, Kissell and McIntyre

WHAT: March on Myrick Campaign Press conference and toy soldier delivery
WHEN: April 1, 2010, Press conference at 11 a.m., delivery immediately following
WHERE: Rep. Sue Myrick’s Charlotte office, 6525 Morrison Blvd. Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28211
WHO: Organizers with Charlotte Rainbow Action Network for Equality (CRANE)

CONTACT: Matt Comer | 336-391-9528

CHARLOTTE – April 1, 2010 – Grassroots activists with the Charlotte Rainbow Action Network for Equality (CRANE) will deliver 13,500 plastic toy soldiers to the Charlotte offices of Rep. Sue Myrick (R-09) this Thursday, April 1, 2010, April’s Fools Day, 11 a.m., 6525 Morrison Blvd. Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28211. The activists will carry with them a clear and important message: Only a fool would stand in the way of national security and military readiness. The anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy must be repealed.

On Feb. 26, the Charlotte Rainbow Action Network for Equality (CRANE) kicked off their March on Myrick Campaign targeting Rep. Sue Myrick (R-09). In the past month, activists have collected almost 30,000 soldiers and will expand their campaign to target Rep. Larry Kissell (D-08), a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

CRANE’s delivery to Myrick comes as grassroots activists across North Carolina team up to bring statewide awareness to DADT, the anti-gay law passed in 1993 prohibiting open military service by gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans.

In Raleigh, activists will target Republican Sen. Richard Burr and Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. They’ll collect 13,500 toy soldiers for each senator – a total of 27,000. And, in Wilmington, activists will collect 13,500 soldiers for Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-07), who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Burr, Hagan, Kissell and McIntyre are all key to the passage of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, a bill which would repeal DADT. Currently under debate in the House of Representatives, the bill has also been introduced in the Senate. Myrick, a strong supporter of national security, military readiness and veterans, could be a key supporter of the bill as well.

In late April, activists from across the state will converge in Washington, D.C., and deliver some 54,000 combined soldiers to Burr, Hagan, Kissell and McIntyre.

The U.S. military has discharged more than 13,500 gay and lesbian service members since DADT’s implementation in 1994, including more than 800 mission-critical troops. In the past five years, the military has discharged at least 59 Arabic and Farsi linguists. Further, our government has wasted between $250 million and $1.2 billion enforcing the law, critical funds that could have been used to support rather than undermine our military readiness. The facts point to only one conclusion: DADT is a threat to national security and must be repealed. Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is just one step our elected leaders can take in their commitment to keep our nation strong and safe. We call on Burr, Hagan, Kissell, McIntyre and Myrick to co-sponsor the Military Readiness Enhancement Act today and support the repeal of this wasteful and damaging policy.

The Charlotte Rainbow Action Network for Equality (CRANE) is a grassroots coalition of activists and community members working toward civil and social equality for Charlotte’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community.

Other organizations working to support the March on Myrick, Stand with Honor and March on McIntyre Campaigns include: Blue Devils United (, Equal People Organization (, HRC Carolinas (, NoH8NC (, N.C. State GLBT Center (, N.C. State GLBTCA and UNC-Chapel Hill GLBTSA (

Raleigh contact: Kevin Eason, 919-961-0648 | Wilmington contact: Ryan Lee Burris, 910-262-7787


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Matt Comer

Matt Comer