Activists Urge Congress to Repeal Military's 'Gay Ban'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

( - A group that lobbies against the ban on homosexuals in the military says this week's campaign to change minds in Washington was a success.

More than 60 veterans and activists from 22 states "stormed" Capitol Hill on Tuesday, urging lawmakers to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said in a press release.

The group called its second annual lobby day "the largest organized effort" relating to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" since the military adopted the policy in 1993, at the behest of President Bill Clinton.

In all, twenty-two state delegations met with over ninety Congressional offices, Republican and Democratic, from both the House and Senate, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said. "Last year, fourteen state delegations met with fifty congressional offices.

"There is overwhelming support to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" said C. Dixon Osburn, SLDN's executive director, pointing to various public opinion polls.

He said the policy "hurts military readiness, depriving our country of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans."

Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, agreed: "The momentum to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is growing and the days of anti-gay discrimination in our armed forces are limited," Meehan said in a press release put out by SLDN.

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