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Freezing, but fired up for repeal

Don't Ask Don't Tell

By Adam Bink

Update: the videos from the rally are below

I just got back from the big rally on Capitol Hill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. An estimated 75-100 were in attendance on short notice urge the Senate to stay in session and repeal this unjust policy. And while it was literally freezing temperatures outside (32 degrees before the rally started), the anger and energy was palpable.











I took Flipcam footage of Zoe Dunning, a 26-year vet of the Navy; discharged Air Force Major Mike Almy; Aubrey Sarvis, a veteran who heads up SLDN; and Major general Dennis Lache, a straight ally and veteran. Flipcam is taking a very, very, very long time to upload to YouTube with one error already, so I will be updating this post shortly with video when it finally finishes. The videos are below:

Part 1]


The message was that the Senate shouldn’t go home until this policy is repealed. Congress stayed through Christmas to work on health care last year; it should do the same, or further if necessary, to finish repeal.

Two speakers I didn’t catch video of at the end (a colleague should have it later, and I’ll update) were both from West Virginia, one of them a political activist who worked to elect Sen. Joe Manchin as well as veteran and West Virginia Reserve member. Both spoke with how angry they were at Manchin, but how his final vote isn’t the final word. According to the latter speaker, Manchin said he still hasn’t heard from West Virginians on this issue (a falsehood, given the level of support in the state, among veterans, and how Sens. Byrd, Rockefeller and Goodwin all voted for repeal at various points, but there it is). The overriding point was that despite yesterday’s vote, Manchin, as I noted in this morning’s post, is still a swing vote on the issue. And that means we still have some work to do.

I just read the comment thread on this morning’s post and saw how many of you are hitting the phones. THANK YOU. The information you’re reporting is extremely helpful and I am following up on folks like Sen. Murkowski. The folks who came to the rally told Congress this isn’t finished and let’s let that be our message too. There is a clear path to repeal.

According to the responses you’ve reported on our DADT report page and in the comments, every one of the Senators you called are still undecided and/or haven’t heard of/haven’t had a chance to look at the Lieberman/Collins bill (for folks like Sens. Murkowski and Brown). So, these are making a big difference. If I hear of a Senator going one way or another, I will update the target list. Remember, this is both an opportunity to push a Senator to be in support of repeal, and to “whip” the list of key swing votes to make sure they are supportive of the Lieberman/Collins bill.

Please make some calls. The ask is to vote in favor of the Lieberman/Collins stand-alone bill to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before Congress adjourns. Then, report what you heard here:

And if you could leave a comment on this post, that would also be helpful so we can quickly and continually update who’s with us. A lot of folks left very specific comments and that is extremely helpful so I can follow up when there is movement.

Here are the targets, which I will continually update as things move on this bill and you submit comments:

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): 202-224-6665 (supports repeal, but mixed signals on the stand-alone bill)

George Voinovich (R-OH): 202-224-3353 (no position)

Olympia Snowe (R-ME): 202-224-5344 (no position)

Richard Lugar (R-IN): 202-224-4814 (no position)

Judd Gregg (R-NH): 202-224-3324 (no position)

Scott Brown (R-MA): 202-224-4543 (supports repeal, but has not made a position clear yet on the stand-alone bill)

Kit Bond (R-MO): 202-224-5721 (no position)

Mark Kirk (R-IL): 202-224-2854 (no position)

Joe Manchin (D-WV): 202-224-3954 (no position, but mixed signals on repeal)

As Sen. Lieberman said last night, it ain’t over ’till it’s over. Let’s hit those phones.

24 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Ann S.  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Go, Adam, go!

  • 2. Ronnie  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:20 am

    I wish I could've been there today….but like I said it was short notice & I had no way of getting there…can't wait to see the video….EQUALITY NOW!!!!…..<3….Ronnie

  • 3. Kathleen  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Thanks for freezing for us, Adam!

  • 4. bJason  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:25 am

    The bill is S.4022. Below is a link to the Library of Congress info. The text of the bill isn't up yet. Hope this helps!

    <3 Jason

  • 5. StraightForEquality  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:27 am


  • 6. Sagesse  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Sort of in a bunker at work, surfacing occassionally to check mail. Wishing everyone well in their efforts today.

  • 7. Sagesse  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:36 am

    That would be occasionally. I can spell, but I can't type.

  • 8. Carpool Cookie  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Got Sen. Scott Brown's voice mail: it says leave number and they'll be happy to call back.

    ME: Hello there, there's no need to call me back, I was just watching the news about how Senetors Collins and Lieberman have created a stand alone bill to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and I really hope the Senator will give careful thought to considering that…and voting Yes on the bill. You know, the tide has really turned and our times are changing…and I don't mean to say this in a scary way, but this is a turning point as to how people are treated, and it's like when the anti-miscegenation and school busing laws were being voted out and there were still people holding on to the bitter end, and I'm sure the Senator doesn't want his name and his family's name tied to that sort of thing for ever and ever. So I hope you will, again, vote yes on the stand alone bill to repeal Dont Ask, Don't Tell…because it really is the right thing to do, when we live under the concept of 'All Men Are Created Equal.' And I'm also sorry I missed you, and hope you have a nice weekend."

    (This was all said pretty briskly….didn't go on as long as it might appear…)

  • 9. adambink  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Folks, I updated the post with footage from the rally.

  • 10. Kathleen  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:55 am

    My message was asking that he vote for the bill and then I said that any person who is willing to risk his or her life to protect our freedoms deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. I asked Senator Brown to please honor those who sacrifice for us by supporting the repeal of this discriminatory policy.

  • 11. Ronnie  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:58 am

    They put "millionaires over military"….It really shows how much those thumbs down fools care about our soldiers who are risking their lives for them….. : / ….Ronnie

  • 12. Carpool Cookie  |  December 10, 2010 at 7:02 am


    It's good to give them a little something to chew on…

  • 13. Sagesse  |  December 10, 2010 at 7:18 am

    New bill to end 'don't ask, don't tell' introduced in Senate

    Says the language is from the defence authorization bill, but no link to it.

  • 14. bJason  |  December 10, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Adam, thank you for being there and bringing it to us. The videos are inspiring.

    To ALL who serve this nation, my deepest and undying gratitude!

  • 15. Carpool Cookie  |  December 10, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Come, my comecados!

    We shall face the oligarchs together!

    Just substitute “STAND ALONE” for “PER-ON” ! ! !

  • 16. Tracy  |  December 10, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Watch this amazing personal story from a gay Purple Heart recipient:

  • 17. bJason  |  December 10, 2010 at 9:15 am

    On the floor of the senate this bill was just referred to as S.4023. Senator Gillebrand just asked for a second reading and objected to such (so that it can get Rule 14 (?) treatment, I believe).

    The game is, once again, afoot!

  • 18. Kate  |  December 10, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I am certainly glad I am not a politician. This is the kind of stuff that would make me crawl up the walls.

  • 19. Rhie  |  December 10, 2010 at 9:19 am


  • 20. bJason  |  December 10, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Thanks, Tracy. Just posted to FB.

  • 21. bJason  |  December 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Touche!! and might I add

  • 22. Ray in MA  |  December 10, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Great work Adam!
    Great work Adam!
    Great work Adam!
    Great work Adam!

  • 23. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 10, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I will be hitting the phones as often as necessary. And I will also be hitting the media in NC as well as Facebook and YouTube to work on getting Richard Burr out of his cushy little job "defending" the rich and bloated from the working class. After all, as a registered voter, I am his boss, whether he likes that fact or not. As his boss, I can call the tune. Isn't that the right of the one who pays the piper? And don't we all, as taxpayers, pay the piper?

  • 24. Carpool Cookie  |  December 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    A city was once trying to buy me off because I was involved in an activist lawsuit, and one thing they said in the settlement discussions was "You know, if there's a commission you want to sit on…" and I said, "Are you crazy? I NEVER WANT TO SEE THE INSIDE OF CITY HALL AGAIN!!!"

    Politics are utter sleeze, all the way around.

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