Thirteen People Arrested Today at White House in "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Protest


13 veterans, advocates arrested at White House today

Three generations of American veterans and advocates were arrested today after handcuffing themselves to the White House fence to call for the U.S. Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and President Obama to make good on their promises to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' which prohibits gays from serving openly in the military, during the abbreviated, lame-duck session of Congress that started today.

From the Facebook page for GetEQUAL, the gay rights organization that organized this protest:

Among the others arrested today were former U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Justin Elzie, who was the first soldier to be discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to fight his discharge and win ' resulting in his service as a Marine for four years as an openly gay man; former U.S. Army Arabic Linguist Ian Finkenbinder, an Iraq war vet who was discharged from the Army in December 2004 after announcing he was gay; and former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Miriam Ben-Shalom, discharged in 1976 for admitting she was a lesbian. She became the first-ever LGBT servicemember reinstated to her position in the U.S. Military, by a U.S. Federal District Court.

'Today, I stand again at the White House fence ' 17 years later ' still protesting the injustice and hypocrisy of a failed law,' said Ben-Shalom said in a statement released by GetEQUAL. "I sincerely pray our country's elected leaders will have the courage to repeal this law and make this the last time I have to come back to this fence and be arrested in protest of a law in direct contrast with our values and beliefs as Americans.'

Among the others arrested today include Lt. Dan Choi, Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cpl. Evelyn Thomas, and Cadet Mara Boyd. You can stay up-to-date regarding all 13 veterans and advocates arrested today on GetEQUAL's Twitter site , its Facebook page or its YouTube page.

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