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California's DADT resolution passes committee

Yesterday I participated in a hearing before the California State Assembly's Judiciary Committee on SJR9, a proposed state resolution supporting repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”

State Senator Christine Kehoe (San Diego), the resolution's lead author and sponsor, kicked off the proceedings by sharing how DADT harms our men and women in uniform and hurts our national security. Former Navy Petty Officer Third Class Joseph Rocha and I testified about our experiences in the service. Petty Officer Rocha told a heartbreaking tale of how he was harassed, assaulted and abused by his supervisors because they suspected he was gay. I spoke about my unique experience as an openly gay member of the military for 13 years and how my open service in no way harmed unit cohesion, morale, or military readiness.

The resolution passed the committee Tuesday and proceeds to the floor of the Assembly next week. If passed by the full Assembly, the great state of California will be on record as supporting repeal of this discriminatory and harmful law. For me, it was an honor to testify and be a small part of encouraging our state government to stand up and be counted in opposition to DADT.

Mr. President and members of the U.S. Congress, are you listening?