Wednesday, May 13, 2009
SAN DIEGO A San Diego City Council committee endorsed legislation today that would repeal the federal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gays in the military.
The Rules, Open Government and Intergovernmental Relations Committee voted unanimously for a resolution in support of HR 1283, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which would allow gays to openly serve in the armed forces without fear of discrimination.
The endorsement now moves to the full City Council for consideration.
Similar resolutions have been passed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Palm Springs, Chicago and New York City.
Councilman Todd Gloria, who is gay, said San Diego, as a military town, has a duty to support all of its service members.
"We go to great lengths to acknowledge the service of our military and I think this is yet another way to do particularly that," Gloria said.
He said the legislation to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would also serve to bolster military readiness.
"When you are discharging thousands of highly qualified, highly skilled people you are impacting military readiness," he said.
Ben Gomez, who was formerly in the Navy, testified that while serving he was in constant fear of being discharged for being gay.
"Why should gay patriotic men and women be singled out for who they are?" Gomez asked the committee.
Since "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was enacted in 1993 under President Bill Clinton, about 13,000 members of the military have been discharged for being gay, according to Gloria.