DADT Repeal: Time to Celebrate!
BY Trudy Ring
September 19 2011 9:15 PM ET
As the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” becomes official today, celebrations are planned around the nation. Here’s a sampling.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has scheduled a flagship event in Washington, D.C., in addition to observances throughout the nation. The D.C. event will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at K Street Lounge, with an open bar. Special guests are to include SLDN executive director Aubrey Sarvis and other military activists, such as Col. Grethe Cammermeyer, Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, Maj. Mike Almy, and OutServe cofounder J.D. Smith. Representatives from the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, and the White House are also expected.
In New York City, the historic Stonewall Inn will be the site of an SLDN-sponsored celebration from 7 to 9 p.m., featuring City Council speaker Christine Quinn, former West Point cadet Katherine Miller, a variety of military advocates, and Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, producer-directors of the HBO film The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Charleston, S.C.’s party will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at Taco Boy, with
Thomas C. Clark, a member of SLDN’s board of directors, in attendance.
West Hollywood’s Abbey bar and restaurant will host a celebration from 6
to 9 p.m.
Former Pennsylvania congressman Patrick Murphy, a staunch supporter of DADT repeal, will appear at Philadelphia’s SLDN event, to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar. A Chicago celebration is set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Downtown Lounge Bar, with Jim Messina, President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, scheduled to attend. For information on all of the above events and links to several others, click here.
Also in Chicago, according to Windy City Times, there will be an SLDN-sponsored night out at Sidetrack bar from 8 to 11 p.m., and the local chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights is looking both back and forward, holding a traditional memorial service plus talks on what to expect in the post-DADT military era at the Center on Halsted from 6 to 7 p.m. See Windy City Times’ preview here.
In the heavily military city of Norfolk, Va., SLDN and Equality Virginia will host an event from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Waterside Festival Marketplace. Former Virginia congressman Glenn Nye, who supported repeal, and former Naval aviator Tracy Thorne-Begland, honorably discharged after coming out on Nightline, will speak. For details, click here.
In another military enclave, San Diego, events include Freedom to Serve, a party with SLDN reps and others at the the San Diego LGBT Community Center from 6 to 7 p.m.; An Evening of Service, sponsored by the local Log Cabin Republicans chapter, with Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, a candidate for San Diego mayor, at the 94th Aero Squadron from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; and a Military Acceptance Project celebration, Salute, at Bourbon Street, featuring food, drink, awards, and prizes, from 7 to 10 p.m. More information is available from LGBT Weekly.
Up north in San Francisco, there will be a ceremonial celebration at 12:30 p.m. at the San Francisco War Memorial, then an evening cocktail party at the city’s LGBT Center from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. See details here.
And it’s not strictly repeal-related, but Portland, Ore.’s annual Veterans Stand Down and Job Fair will have special significance for gay service members and vets this year. Veterans for Human Rights and SLDN are joining in the event, sponsored by several veterans’ and social service groups, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oregon Convention Center. Go here for more info.
Don’t see your city here? Not to worry — there are celebrations in many other locations. The SLDN website has a search facility for finding an event in your area.
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