Rep. Patrick Murphy, an Iraq war veteran in his second term in the U.S. House, will lead efforts to repeal the law that requires the Department of Defense to discharge servicemembers who do not sufficiently hide the fact that they are gay or lesbian. Murphy sat down with the Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld to talk about the prospects for his bill:
I’ve been going member to member, especially since I’ve taken the lead – we’ve gotten six new co-sponsors on board, two members of leadership last week [Reps. John Larson and Rep. Xavier Becerra], and we’re doing the national kickoff at the National Press Club Tuesday. But I’m also doing a website petition to petition my fellow members of congress, and we’re going to be doing smaller press conferences in congressional districts to let people know why it’s important now to change it.
The fact that we’ve let go over 13,000 troops since it’s been implemented and over 65 Arabic translators — that’s over three combat brigades that we’ve let go. When we’re fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, we need every qualified, able-bodied individual to serve.
Read the full interview at the Advocate. Also, check out today’s launch of the Human Rights Campaign’s “Voices of Honor” national tour supporting repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. Video of the press conference with Rep. Murphy is up at HRC Back Story.