The Modern Military Association of America will be holding a special event on Tuesday, Dec. 22, to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that barred gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members from serving openly.
The event, which will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will feature guest speakers, including politicians who played a significant role in pushing repeal legislation through Congress, as well as out service members who will offer testimonials about how repeal has affected their lives for the better. The event is free and open to the public.
The event will be hosted by former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), who authored the amendment to repeal the discriminatory ban on LGB service members. The keynote speaker will be U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was recently honored with the Victory Institute’s LGBTQ History Maker Award for her work related to the repeal.
Another confirmed speaker will be Bree Fram, an Air Force astronautical engineer and the vice president and communications director for the transgender military advocacy organization SPART*A, Jennifer Dane, the executive director of the Modern Military Association of America, and Aubrey Sarvis, the former executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, one of two organizations that were joined together to create the Modern Military Association of America.
Dane told Metro Weekly in an interview that organizers have reached out to the Biden-Harris transition team, as well as to President Obama and those who worked in the Obama White House. They are hoping to add some celebrities to the list of those taking part in the event as well.
“We just want to talk about the impacts of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and also about the current situation with the transgender military ban and what that looks like,” Dane said. “Hopefully, in the first 100 days, Joe Biden does affirm what he said he would, to repeal that. So we’re looking at the past and also at the future. We’re bringing some of the old guard back with our new organization. Even though the name has change, we still for for LGBTQ rights for our military and veteran communities.”
Dane herself found herself under investigation under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy after she reported being sexually assaulted by a fellow service member.
Upon investigating, it was revealed that Dane was a lesbian, and the military began an investigation into her personal life as well as that of her attacker’s. But that investigation was halted after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” allowing Dane to continue her career.
“The repeal meant that I could live my authentic self,” she said.
The Modern Military Association of America’s 10-year anniversary celebration of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 12 p.m. EST. The event is free to attend, but registration is required. To register, visit www.modernmilitary.org/DADT.
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