Ad campaign targets military's gay ban
A national ad campaign to be launched on August 1 will ask Congress to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces. The "Lift the Ban" campaign is the work of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and will feature transgender activist Calpernia Addams, whose boyfriend, Pfc. Barry Winchell, was bludgeoned to death while he slept in his barracks at Fort Campbell, Ky., in 1999. The campaign will use postcards and print ads to ask constituents to visit www.lifttheban.org and urge Congress to repeal the antigay policy. It features a photo of Addams with the headline "Soldiers Murdered Her Boyfriend. Now You Can Help." "Pfc. Barry Winchell was brutally murdered by fellow soldiers who perceived him to be gay," the ad says, "because of his relationship with Calpernia Addams, a transgender woman he met while serving in the Army. The time has come to end discrimination in our armed forces."
The campaign will launch as a postcard ad in Washington, D.C., and will be featured in publications throughout the country. "As a veteran, I know that every American, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is touched by 'don't ask, don't tell,'" said Addams, who was the subject of Showtime's recent film Soldier's Girl. "This campaign honors Barry, the dedication of his parents, and the work of SLDN. It continues, together, our important campaign to repeal the military's unjust and discriminatory policies."