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Gay Veteran Speaks out Against ĎDonít Ask Donít
Today, Denny Meyer, Vice President
for Veterans Affairs of American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER), and
President of AVERís New York Chapter spoke at Congressman Steve Israelís
Veterans Plaza press conference, regarding HR 1059, at Town Hall in
Huntington, Long Island, NY. The Congressional Bill would overturn the
current "Donít Ask, Donít Tell, Donít Pursue" policy and
allow lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons to serve openly in the
"Our national policy of promoting homophobia within our armed forces has created an atmosphere of fear and distrust that is destructive to unit cohesion," said Meyer; "the time has come for the pointless policy of ideological discrimination embodied in the ĎDonít Ask, Donít Tellí policy to come to an end so that all American patriotic volunteers may serve our nation in pride."
Meyerís parents were Holocaust refugees who fled Nazi Germany in the late 1930ís and raised him, on the Upper West Side of New York City, to believe in American freedom. As a result of that rearing, he volunteered to join Americaís armed forces in 1968, despite being gay. More than a decade later, as a Sergeant First Class, he left the service, "so that I could live freely as a Gay American," said Meyer. "In addition to the 10,000 discharged under the policy, thousands such as myself left without a word; the loss of training, skills, and leadership is incalculable."
Meyer founded AVER-NY, and led an effort to have the NY CIty Council hear a resolution putting the City on record as demanding the repeal of the DADT policy. The first Council Committee hearing on the resolution was heard last Tuesday, March 22, 2005
American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender veterans association with chapters throughout the United States. AVER advocates ending the Donít Ask, Donít Tell policy, and is also a service organization for American LGBT veterans.
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