News release from Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN):
(Washington, D.C.) Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) today released an “It Gets Better” video, joining more than 10,000 individuals and organizations that have added their user-created submissions to the campaign. The initiative was co-created by syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope in young people facing harassment or bullying. The SLDN submission includes SLDN staff members, as well as service members discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), the discriminatory law that has banned qualified gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans from serving openly in the U.S. Armed Forces since 1993.
“I am proud to be a part of the ‘It Gets Better’ effort on behalf of more than 14,000 men and women discharged from the military simply for being who they are. Repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ sends a strong and important signal to the country’s young gay and lesbian citizens that we support them, we value them, and they are a critical part of the fabric of our nation. I hope that once repeal is done, many of them will choose careers in our armed services,” said SLDN client and former Air Force Major Mike Almy, discharged under DADT after another service member searched his private e-mails without permission.
Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis led his staff in participating in the video message.
“SLDN is pleased to add our voice to the chorus of individuals and organizations from all walks of life who know that life can be incredibly difficult for LGBT teens. I trust our message will be one of encouragement, optimism, and hope for anyone facing harassment or bullying as they simply try to be themselves. We are proud to have been a leader in the fight to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and we are looking forward to the day when there will be full LGBT equality in our nation’s military. Until then, our work is not done, and it’s for these young people that we continue to fight so hard,” said Sarvis.
Dan Savage, co-founder of the “It Gets Better” Project, said “SLDN fought to make it better for gay service members, their partners, and our country. Thanks to SLDN, military service will soon be an option for gay and lesbian youth who want to serve their country. We're proud to have their support.”