Five Additional Lawmakers Co-Sponsor Legislation to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

New Supporters Include Iraq War Veteran Patrick Murphy Of Pennsylvania

Oct 22, 2007, 01:00 ET from Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Five additional Members
 of the House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of The
 Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1246), a Congressional bill to
 repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual
 military personnel. Representatives Al Green (D-TX), Jesse Jackson, Jr.
 (D-IL), Ron Klein (D-FL), Patrick J. Murphy (D-PA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA)
 bring the total number of co-sponsors to 136.
     "We are enormously proud to welcome these five lawmakers to the growing
 coalition of Congressional Members working to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't
 Tell,'" said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal
 Defense Network (SLDN). "This unfair and un-American law has cost our
 nation the skills of more than 11,000 patriotic service members, and
 Congress is increasingly recognizing that our nation can ill afford to lose
 such talent. SLDN will continue to build support for repeal and work, every
 day, for the freedom to serve."
     Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), the lead sponsor of H.R. 1246,
 added that, ""With every new lawmaker who signs on we are one step closer
 to repealing this discriminatory policy that has been preventing otherwise
 qualified men and women from serving our country and contributing to the
 finest fighting force in the world. I thank all these new cosponsors for
 standing up for what's right, and I look forward to working with them to
 enlist more and more of our colleagues."
     Congressman Patrick J. Murphy, one of the co-sponsors announced today,
 is an Iraq war veteran and former West Point professor elected to the House
 in 2006. Murphy is also a former JAG Corps attorney, and served two
 deployments after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 - the first
 to Bosnia in 2002 and the second to Baghdad, Iraq in 2003-2004 as a
 paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. For his service, Captain
 Murphy earned the Bronze Star for service and his unit earned the
 Presidential Unit Citation.
     "Congressman Murphy, a respected voice on military matters and a member
 of the House Armed Services Committee, will be an irreplaceable ally in our
 work to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" said Sarvis. "His support sends a
 strong message that those who know our armed forces best also understand
 that ending this law is the right thing to do for our military and our
     Since 1993, the federal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law has cost American
 taxpayers more than $364 million. An average of two service members are
 dismissed under the law every day. According to the Government
 Accountability Office (GAO), nearly 800 people with skills deemed
 'mission-critical' by the Pentagon have been dismissed under the law,
 including more than 322 language experts, at least 58 of whom specialized
 in Arabic.
     For more information on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and The Military
 Readiness Enhancement Act, visit
     Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is a national, non-profit legal
 services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending
 discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by
 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and related forms of intolerance. For more
 information, visit

SOURCE Servicemembers Legal Defense Network