Today a hearing was held on H.R. 1540 – FY12 National Defense Authorization Bill – Subcommittee On Military Personnel. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network had legislative staff up on the Hill (follow SLDN on Twitter) to report on markup, specifically on guard for anti-DADT repeal actions.

Around 11 AM SLDN Tweeted:

The mark the subcomm approved includes some lang. straight out of ’93: “forced·intimacy & little privacy” Sec 521: http://1.usa.gov/mahUV7

Earlier the organization released a letter signed by veterans discharged under DADT to tell the lawmakers not to entertain a rollback on the repeal that is under way. From SLDN’s press release:

The letter highlights the urgent need for timely certification as Congress returns to Washington from recess this week:

“As service members discharged under the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law, and who stand ready to serve our country again, we are alarmed at what appears to be a movement to undo the progress that was made last year. Already, at least four expected candidates for President in 2012 have voiced their opposition to repeal and some have gone as far as to say that if elected, they would ‘repeal the repeal’ of DADT. Meanwhile, opponents of repeal in the new majority on your committee have made it clear that their aim is to defund, delay, and if given the opportunity, derail the repeal of DADT,” the service members wrote.

In the letter, they reminded members of the HASC that recently, senior military leaders testified that training for repeal is progressing smoothly.

“We were there last year when Naval Academy graduate and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen testified that repealing DADT is ‘the right thing to do’ and explained, ‘I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.’ We were there when the Pentagon working group released its exhaustive nine-month study and found no barriers to repeal. And we were there when, with a stroke of the President’s pen, the will of the American people, including a majority of those currently serving in our Armed Forces, was carried out on December 22, 2010.

“Now is not the time to turn the clock back, but that is exactly what repeal opponents are planning to attempt. We urge you to review the record that was before Congress last year when it was considering this legislation. The facts are there, and they are a greater testament to the injustice of this law than anything we could communicate to you in a single letter,” they said.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding