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SLDN Urges Pentagon & White House to Help Gay Troops

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As officials work to effectively end the ban on openly gay military service, one activist group is still asking the White House and the Pentagon for help in protecting both current and former LGBT troops.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network sent a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Undersecretary Clifford Stanley on Monday asking that they work to establish Special Boards. The group says, ideally this would help former servicemembers dismissed under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ address issues like removing mentions of homosexuality in discharge paperwork or re-entering the force.

SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis says that he’s optimistic that the Pentagon will be receptive to his group’s suggestion.

SARVIS: “I think when they take a look at it, they will see the soundness of the proposal and recognize that there needs to be a streamlined process to move these requests forward in a timely way.”

A Pentagon spokeswoman told the Washington Post the Defense Department is reviewing the SLDN proposal. She added ANY current or former service members can already petition service discharge review boards to reconsider their cases, and that won’t change after ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ends.

SLDN also sent a letter to the White House urging President Obama to issue an executive order that would prohibit discrimination in the armed forces based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sarvis says he hopes the President will respond to the issue of discrimination on the same day that repeal finally takes place.

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