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PFLAG Westminster – Carroll County, Maryland Chapter

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays - Moving Equality Forward
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 22, 2011
Liz Owen | lowen@pflag.org> | (202) 467-8180 ext. 214
PFLAG National (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) – the nation’s largest grassroots-based organization for parents, families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people – has issued the following statement regarding the certification of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the law which bans gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military:
“This is the end of government-supported discrimination against gay and lesbian service members who honorably serve their country and the beginning of a new chapter in our military history, one focused on the inclusion of everyone who nobly defends our nation and our responsibility to them when they come home. PFLAG National hopes that the Joining Forces program spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will be inclusive of all military families and reflect programs and outreach that are responsive to our gay and lesbian service members, their spouses and families, and the unique issues that they often face,” said PFLAG National Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby.
“It has been 212 days since the president signed the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, and there are still 60 days to wait before implementation begins.  Beyond that, more waiting lies ahead, as legal partners and spouses of serving gays and lesbians will

not receive any benefits or even recognition from the Department of Defense. Without that all-important U.S. military spouse identification card, these spouses and partners will have no medical coverage, no on-base housing and, perhaps most important, no survivor benefits or next-of-kin notification in case of death. Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is a significant victory, but an incomplete victory. DOMA must be repealed to ensure that serving gay or lesbian is truly equal to serving straight,” said PFLAG National board member Col. Daniel Tepfer, USAF (ret.).
PFLAG National is committed to securing full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, by providing support, education and advocacy. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has more than 200,000 members and supporters in more than 350 chapters throughout the United States. To learn more, please visit http://www.pflag.org.
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