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Pres. Obama: Accept Nobel Peace Prize for All America's Military Families, Including Our LBGT Patriots

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Two important events in Barack Obama's presidency this weekend underline
the urgent need to walk the talk about equality for all. First was the
surprise award of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for President Obama's
transformational vision of a world free of nuclear weapons where all
are called to address global challenges. Second was the president's
eloquent speech to the Human Rights Campaign where he extolled equality
for all regardless of sexual orientation. The key word in both
discussions is ALL -- the universality of the humanity we all share, the
challenges we all face, the commitment we all have to each other, and
the call to action we all hear to live up to our ideals.  In that
spirit, I believe President Obama should accept his 2009 Nobel
Peace Prize on
behalf of ALL America's Military Families -- including our LBGT patriots -- and seize the moment to allow all Americans to serve as 
peacekeepers.

In President Obama's powerful speech to the Human Rights Campaign
about equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
Americans, he said, "I am working with the Pentagon, its leadership and
members of the House and Senate to end this policy. I will end Don't
Ask Don't Tell. That is my commitment to you."   Excellent. Now how about a timeline? As we continue to fight two wars, do we have
so many active duty troops,
intelligence officials, interpreters, engineers, and other military personnel that we can afford to
lose the skills and service of gay
Americans? I think not. With only 3% of Americans on active duty
fighting two wars and engaged in peacekeeping efforts across the globe,
we should be motivating more military service -- not less. If LBGT
patriots are ready, willing, and able to help defend America, fight
al Qaeda, and promote peace,why not let them do so?

As the Center for American Progress points out
  "Congress,
in the Authority of the President to Suspend Certain Laws
Relating to Promotion, Retirement, and Separation—10 U.S.C. §
12305—grants the president authority to suspend the separation of
military members during any period of national emergency in which
members of a reserve component are serving involuntarily on active
duty." Thus, by early December,
President Obama will have ample time to review troop
needs for America's commitments around the globe, reflect on Pentagon
recommendations, and rescind further military separations based upon
Don't Ask Don't Tell. 

Just as President Truman transformed military policy
with a stroke of a pen in July 1948 by ordering the desegregation of
the U.S.
armed forces, President Obama can advance American security and
equality in December 2009 by signing an executive order rescinding
further military separations based upon Don't Ask, Don't Tell and
working with Congress to complete the repeal.  There is no time like
the present, and no better occasion than Oslo, to show the world that
all Americans join in our responsibility to peace and freedom.

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