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Reform Movement Deeply Dismayed by Senate Failure to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t’ Tell”


Rabbi Saperstein: "As people of faith, we are pained by this affront to the dignity of those in uniform, each of whom, gay or straight, embodies the spark of the Divine presence in every person, and each of whom should be a source of pride for all Americans."

Contact: Eric Harris or Amelia Viney
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington DC, December 9, 2010- In response to the Senate's failure to advance legislation to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

Today, Senators have failed to support the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who have dedicated their professional lives to the defense of our nation. Refusing to repeal the misguided "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy rejects the views and entreaties of Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen. It also ignores the views of the overwhelming majority of service members whose opinions were solicited in the Pentagon's extensive study of the impact of repeal and who said such action would not negatively impact unit cohesion.

The military's code of honor is tarnished when service members are required to lie about their identity. And as people of faith, we are pained by this affront to the dignity of those in uniform, each of whom, gay or straight, embodies the spark of the Divine presence in every person, and each of whom should be a source of pride for all Americans.
No doubt the courts, which have already shown a willingness to challenge this policy, will soon overturn it in recognition that we cannot in good conscience continue to ask the members of our Armed Forces to fight on behalf of a country that refuses to recognize their basic dignity and rights.

Even as we are deeply disappointed by today's Senate vote, we know that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy's days are numbered. We look forward to the future when this policy will be a mere memory of a sad and discredited chapter in our nation's history.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.



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