Oklahoma State Rep. Mike Reynolds (R-Oklahoma City) is pushing a bill that would ban gays and lesbians from serving openly in the state's National Guard. Even worse, the legislation doesn't prohibit state officials from directly questioning someone about their sexual orientation – essentially removing the "Don't Ask" component of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT).
If this discriminatory bill becomes law, Oklahoma will join countries like China, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Pakistan in prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving their country openly.
This legislation represents nothing more than an attempt to revive the anti-gay sentiment and misinformation used during the fight to repeal DADT. Send Rep. Reynolds a letter now telling him to pull his support from this outdated and discriminatory bill.
Our nation's military leaders have said the U.S. armed forces are stronger than ever following the implementation of DADT repeal. In fact, Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said:
"...with implementation of the new law fully in place, we are a stronger joint force, a more tolerant joint force, a force of more character and more honor, more in keeping with our own values."
Your bill will do absolutely nothing to improve the military readiness of the Oklahoma National Guard. It will not contribute to the economic well-being of your state. It will, however, send a message to gay and lesbian Oklahomans that they are essentially second-class citizens who are incapable of performing just as professionally as their straight counterparts. That is an unacceptable message to send.