New Website Profiles GLBT Veterans
Project is Joint Venture of Three GLBT Advocacy Organizations
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER), have announced the launch of a joint web venture in honor of America's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender veterans. The project, "Documenting Courage: Veterans Speak Out," is part of a continuing effort to better inform the public, Congress and the administration about the many contributions made by LGBT service members.
The site, which will launch on Veterans Day, is online at http://www.hrc.org/documentingcourage/stories/index.asp.
Because veterans are not bound by the codes of silence that active service members are, they are in a unique position to give a voice to the LGBT community involved in the armed forces. In spite of this, many gay men and lesbians are not vocal about their service. Veterans are encouraged to submit their stories directly to the organizations through the "Documenting Courage" shared web site.
"We know LGBT veterans have important and inspiring stories to share," said SLDN Executive Director C. Dixon Osburn. "While on active duty, gay and lesbian service members must remain silent about their sexual orientation, or risk discharge. However, after returning to civilian life, many veterans remain silent about their military service. We want to send a clear message with this project that LGBT service men and women are welcome and that we are proud of them and their contributions."
Those currently serving in the armed forces - whether on active duty, in the Reserves or in the National Guard - are advised not to send their stories for the Documenting Courage project. Federal law requires that gay, lesbian and bisexual service members not disclose their sexual orientation.
ATTENTION SERVICE MEMBERS: Under Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, you have the right to remain silent and to consult with a defense attorney if you are investigated. Say nothing. Sign nothing. Get legal help. Call SLDN at 202.328.FAIR (3247).