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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

As you probably know, Vermont Law School refuses to allow the military to interview students on campus. Unlike other employers, they refuse to sign a non-discrimination statement impacting LGBT students. Therefore, In return, VLS loses hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in federal grants. This is a moral and ethical stand of which we are most proud.

Last week, a group of students, staff and faculty traveled to Washington to participate in Lobby Days to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policies. Here is Prof. Gardina’s report back to the campus.

I wanted to thank everyone who donated to our Lobby Day Fund. We had 16 representatives from Vermont Law School travel to DC to visit members of Congress and lobby for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Representative Tauscher reintroduced the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1283) on March 2 and Senator Kennedy is expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate by the end of this month. There are currently over 130 co-sponsors in the House. We joined a group of about 100 other citizens, gay and straight, civilian and military, men and women, Republican, Democrat and Independents and visited members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee, targeted members of the Senate, as well as members of the House who had not yet agreed to co-sponsor or vote yes.

I visited Senators Dodd and Lieberman in the morning with a young 18 year old GW student and his boyfriend, both Connecticut voters. He had recently been discharged from the ROTC program after a fellow ROTC student discovered he was gay and disclosed it to command. He told his story, and his desire to serve his country. Our meeting with Senator Jack Reed was extremely informative and productive – he provided some valuable insight into implementation concerns. I was hopeful that they are even talking about implementation!

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