NGLTF Warns RNC About ‘DADT’
New Republican National Committee
(RNC) TV ads on the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy are a continuation of
the Republican Party's efforts to portray gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered
people as unworthy of equal rights, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
The RNC has aired TV spots
on the issue in Iowa, New Hampshire, and other key primary states. The
NGLTF has stated that "Don't ask, don't tell" is a flawed policy that has
resulted in increased discharges of servicemen and women and, contrary
to its stated goal, has led to well-publicized witchhunts against gay,
lesbian and bisexual people.
A report recently released
by the Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force shows
overwhelming opposition to sexual orientation-based discrimination in the
military, even among conservatives. The report, From Wrongs to Rights:
Public Opinion on Gay and Lesbian Americans Moves Toward Equality 1973-1999,
authored by Columbia University political scientist Alan Yang, reveals
that American public opinion is more supportive of equality than are most
lawmakers and politicians.
Both Vice President Gore
and Bill Bradley have stated their intention to end "Don't ask, don't tell"
if elected. Republican candidates, on the other hand, have expressed varying
degrees of support for the policy. On Sunday, Senator John McCain said
comments by the two Democratic candidates disqualified both of them from
the presidency. Both McCain and George W. Bush have expressed support for
Rebecca Isaacs, NGLTF political
director, noted that polls show both the Republican presidential candidates
and the RNC to be clearly out of touch on the issue of ending discrimination.
For example, a 1999 Gallup survey showed 70 percent of respondents favor
the right of gays and lesbians to serve in the military. And a 1999 National
Elections Studies survey showed 57 percent of conservatives, 70 percent
of moderates and 91 percent of liberals support ending discrimination.
"The anti-gay conservatives
have not heard that it's a new millennium," Isaacs said. "These ads pander
to the extreme right wing and risk alienating mainstream voters who will
decide this election."
(The National Gay and
Lesbian Task Force has worked to eliminate prejudice, violence and injustice
against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people at the local, state
and national level since its inception in 1973 )
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