I… just don’t know what to say about this other than WOW.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2010
MEDIA ADVISORY / EVENT TOMORROW / MONDAY: >
Veterans, Lady Gaga Go to Maine in Grassroots Push to Break Filibuster and Pass “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal
Twitter Hashtag: #4the14k
“For the 14,000”: A Rally for the 14,000+ Discharged
“The votes to break McCain’s filibuster are not there. Sens. Snowe and Collins of Maine are key to breaking the filibuster. With the vote Tuesday, we need everyone supporting repeal to call their senators.” – Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran
1,000,000+ Watch Lady Gaga’s Call to Action Online; 237,131 People Visit SLDN Action Site; 91.62% First Time Visitors
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), will be holding a grassroots rally with young people near the University of Southern Maine campus on Monday, September 20, 2010, at 4:00 p.m. ET, at Deering Oaks Park, Portland, ME, in a major Senate push to break the expected filibuster by Sen. John McCain of the National Defense Authorization Act, to which repeal is included. The key U.S. Senate vote is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday.
“The votes to break McCain’s filibuster are not there. We need Sens. Snowe and Collins on board; they’re key to us breaking the filibuster,” said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. “With the vote less than 48 hours away, we need everyone supporting repeal to call the Senate. We’re bringing gay and straight service members to Portland to help make the case. And we’re proud to have the support of Lady Gaga to bring grassroots attention to repeal at a critical hour. Like Lady Gaga, all New England senators, indeed all 100 senators, Democrats and Republicans, need to engage in a real debate on this issue, and not just posture and spin this week over procedure and Senate rules.”
More from Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate:
Gaga Focuses on Maine Senators
By Kerry Eleveld
Lady Gaga announced via Twitter Sunday evening that she would be attending a last-minute rally in Portland, Maine, on Monday targeted at convincing GOP Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to vote with Democrats to help break a filibuster that, if successful, could effectively kill the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal effort for the year.
“Meet me in Portland, Maine 2moro, 9/20 to help repeal #DADT. I’m holding a Rally + speaking live in Deering Oaks Park http://bit.ly/cO4cY9,” said the tweet sent from Lady Gaga’s account, @ladygaga, which has over 6.3 million followers.
The rally, which is being billed as “For the 14,000” discharged under the policy (or “#4the14k” in twitter speak), will be held at 4:00 p.m. EST, Monday, Sept. 20, at Deering Oaks Park and has been organized by the pro-repeal lobby group Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. A spokesman for SLDN said it was a last-ditch effort to garner the 60 votes needed to move the National Defense Authorization Act to which the repeal measure is attached. The vote on the Senate floor is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. EST.
“The votes to break Sen. John McCain’s filibuster are not there,” acknowledged Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of SLDN. “Senators Snowe and Collins of Maine are key to breaking the filibuster. With the vote Tuesday, we need everyone supporting repeal to call their senators.”
Trevor Thomas, director of communications for SLDN, said that since Collins and Snowe were two of the most likely GOP senators to vote against the filibuster, SLDN decided “it would be very strategic to bring an event to their own backyard.”
Lady Gaga is expected to implore all her fans and especially those attending the event to contact their senators via cell, twitter, or email in order to urge their support for ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.