Press Release

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NY City Council Passes ĎDonít Ask Donít Tellí Repeal Resolution

Re.: New York City Council Resolution 438-2004a
Resolution calling for the repeal of the "Donít Ask, Donít Tell, Donít Pursue" policy and
allowing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons to serve openly in the military.
New York, NY: May 11, 2005

On Wednesday May 11th the New York City Council voted resoundingly in favor of Resolution 438, which calls on President George Bush, the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Department of Defense to overturn the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" policy and allow lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons to serve openly in the military.

The resolution was introduced, by Council Member Alan Gerson, last year at the urging of Denny Meyer, President of American Veterans for Equal Rights NY (AVERNY). Following today's vote, Meyer stated, "The Time has come for our government's ideological homophobia to come to an end so that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender American patriots can serve our nation in pride."

The resolution had the sponsorship or support of Speaker Gifford Miller, Public Advocate Betsy Gottbaum, Councilmember Alan Gerson who introduced the resolution, as well as councilmembers, Arroyo, Avella, Baez, Boyland, Brewer, Clarke, Comrie, DeBlasio, Fidler, Gioia, Gonzalez, Jackson, James, Koppell, Liu, Lopez, Martinez, Moskowitz, Nelson, Palma, Perkins, Quinn, Recchia, Reed, Reyna, Seabrook, Sears, Stewart, Vann, Weprin, and Yassky, among others.

L - R: Billiam Van Roestenberg, James Reilly, MAJ Jeff McGowan
Claude Ashby Jr, Denny Meyer, NY City Council Member Alan Gerson

The City Council's Committee on State and Federal Legislation, chaired by Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera, held a hearing in March 2005 on the resolution. Testimony, on the discriminatory effects of the DADT policy, was given by Congressman Jerry Nadler, Dr. Frank Kameny, NGLTF Research Director Jason Cianciotto, Chris Neff of SLDN, former Majors Jeff McGowan and Leslie Deutsch, and AVERNY officers Denny Meyer and James Reilly. The Committee unanimously voted in favor of the resolution on May 10th, passing it on to the full Council.

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.