March 16, 2007
Unitarian Universalist Association President Calls for Repeal of "Don't ask, Don't tell."
A Statement from Rev. William G. Sinkford, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association
I am deeply disappointed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s recent homophobic
remarks. General Pace’s comments were profoundly disrespectful to gay, lesbian and bisexual
Americans, including the thousands in uniform who are serving with honor in Iraq, Afghanistan,
What saddens me the most is that Pace’s comments, while offensive, are well within the bounds
of the US armed forces’ anti-discrimination guidelines. Under the current “Don’t ask, don’t tell”
policy, discrimination is thriving in our military. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual personnel may legally
be denied employment or later discharged solely because of their sexual orientation. Last year,
this policy allowed the Department of Defense to fire 612 service members. Others are subject to secrecy, fear and harassment, and many of these are fighting men and women who are already in harm’s way every day. Unknown numbers of qualified and patriotic men and women choose not to join the military for these reasons, and this sad loss is one that our nation can ill afford.
It is immoral for an overextended and depleted military to throw away the contributions of brave and talented service members. A military operating under a discriminatory employment policy fails the soldiers whose sacrifices guarantee the American ideals of liberty and justice for all. It fails all of us.
It is immoral to ban lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons from serving openly in the military, and the policy which mandates such discrimination must be overturned. I call on all Americans who objected to General Pace’s remarks to join me in demanding the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
The Unitarian Universalist Association is a faith community of more than 1000 self-governing
congregations that bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance and social justice.
For more information about the UUA and Rev. William Sinkford, please visit www.uua.org