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DADT Repeal Activists Reprimand HRC After "Unprofessional and Immature" Comments

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What follows is the letter from Servicemembers United cosigned by 27 of the most prominent activists in the DADT repeal effort. I'm proud to stand with these incredible soldiers and activists in support of a man who has been absolutely integral to this repeal effort.

Since becoming involved in the DADT repeal effort, I've seen Alex Nicholson work his fingers to the bone for all the soldiers affected by it while receiving little of the attention and accolades that he so richly deserves. He is doing this for all the right reasons, which makes it all the more infuriating when he and his work are personally attacked by a very powerful group that presents itself as an advocate for all LGBT people. An attack on him is certainly an unprofessional and immature attack on us all, and I'm proud to stand in support of him.

To All Concerned:

On Saturday, October 9, the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) launched a personal attack against Servicemembers United's founder and Executive Director, Alex Nicholson. The previous day, Nicholson, who is one of the nation's leading "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) repeal advocates, had called out the White House for its lack of substantive action and support this year on DADT and called on Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett to meet with DADT repeal advocates.

Instead of supporting the call for dialogue and greater White House accountability, the Human Rights Campaign's official spokesperson made personal attacks and demanded that our community heap gratitude and praise upon the White House for where we are today on DADT. This attack was unprofessional, immature, and unproductive itself, and it was alienating and insulting to the entire LGBT military and veteran community.

Like Nicholson, and unlike HRC's spokesperson or any of its leadership, each of us has served this nation in uniform and each of us has been directly impacted by DADT. We, as 27 of the nation's most prominent DADT repeal activists of the past two decades have also worked to help make this discriminatory law a part of history. No matter the disagreement on strategy, we will not tolerate an attack against one of our own. We are united as veterans to fight "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," with effectiveness, diligence, and veracity. And we are determined to see legislative repeal this year, with or without HRC. Our brothers and sisters still serving in silence deserve nothing less.

Faithfully,

Dan Choi
Westpoint Graduate, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Jason Knight
Hebrew Linguist, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Darren Manzella
US Army, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Steve Lorandos
Petty Officer, 2nd Class - Submarines, US Navy
DADT Repeal Advocate

Brian Fricke
USMC, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Brian Muller
Army Bomb Technician, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Alastair Gamble
Arabic Linguist, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Anthony Wilfert
Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Brett Edward Stout
USMC Russian Linguist, Veteran
DADT Repeal Advocate

Rob Smith
US Army Infantryman, Veteran
DADT Repeal Advocate

Keith Meinhold
Petty Officer, 1st Class - Aviation - US Navy
DADT Repeal Advocate

Justin Elzie
USMC Veteran, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Ben Gomez
Petty Officer, 2nd Class - Legalman, US Navy
President, AVER, San Diego

Mara Stewart
Petty Officer, 1st Class - Linguist, US Navy
DADT Repeal Advocate

Julianne Sohn
USMC Comms.Officer, Discharged Under DADT
DADT Repeal Advocate

Julie Mendoza
US Air Force, Retired
DADT Repeal Advocate

Tanya Domi
US Army Veteran, Columbia Univ. Professor
DADT Repeal Advocate

Anu Baghwati
USMC Communications Officer, Veteran
Executive Director, SWAN

Jenn Hogg
Army National Guard, Veteran
DADT Repeal Advocate

Jarrod Chlapowski
US Army Korean Linguist, Veteran
Field Director, Servicemembers United

Larry Baxley
US Navy Intelligence Officer, Veteran
Former VA Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Justin D. Ford
US Army Veteran, Straight DADT Repeal Ally
Former North FL Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Walker Burttschell
USMC Veteran, Discharged Under DADT
Former South FL Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Gabriel Knous
USMC Veteran
Former Orlando Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Scott Spychala
USAF/ANG, Retired
Former IN Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Pepe Johnson
US Army Field Artillery, Discharged Under DADT
Former WV Veteran Field Organizer, HRC

Rasool Mutawakkil, Jr.
US Army Veteran, Straight DADT Repeal Ally
Former Tampa Veteran Field Organizer, HRC