To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riot, The Servicemembers Legal Defence Network (SLDN) and its allies will lead a procession of 265 veterans, service members and supporters to the White House this Saturday.
The number 265 is meant to represent the number of service members that have been discharged because of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy since the President and the new Congress were sworn in earlier this year.
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell underscores that discrimination against gays and lesbians continues 40 years after the Stonewall riots, and reminds us that many challenges remain in the fight for full equality,” said Aubrey Sarvis, SLDN Executive Director, in a statement on the SLDN website.
“Like those who stood up for freedom at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, we will stand up for the freedom to serve. We need to tell President Obama that 265 is enough.”
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell refers to the US military’s practice of not asking recruits their sexual orientation and in turn, service members are banned from saying they are gay or bisexual, engaging in homosexual activity or trying to marry a member of the same sex.
The march is meant to urge President Barack Obama to keep his campaign promise of repealing the policy, which has been the cause of an average of two military personal being fired daily.