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SLDN Urges Order to Protect Gay Troops

SLDN Urges Order to Protect Gay Troops

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A top advocate is urging President Barack Obama to sign an executive orde, ensuring that no one will be discriminated against for their sexual orientation or gender identity while working for the armed services.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, wrote an open letter to Obama Wednesday asking for specified protocols on how service personnel who feel as though they have been harassed or discriminated against can safely report such behavior.

"We, therefore, call on you to show the leadership President Truman did when he issued an executive order banning racial discrimination in the armed services and to issue an executive order prohibiting discrimination in the armed services based on sexual orientation and gender identity to be effective on the date of repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell,'" he wrote.

Though "don't ask, don't tell," the law banning gay and lesbian troops from serving openly, is in the process of being repealed, the law did not include language to stop discrimination or harassment among service members. Bills introduced in previous sessions of Congress included antidiscrimination and antiharassment language, but some Defense Department leaders have indicated that such policies are not necessary.

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