"As Congress considers future legislative action, we believe it would be helpful to hear your views on the policy," he writes. "Your leadership in this matter is greatly appreciated and needed at this time."
Reid, in the letters, also highlights the plight of two servicemen, one of whom he met when he was the keynote speaker at a recent Las Vegas Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner. First Lieutenant Daniel Choi was a West Point grad, served in Iraq and was an Arab linguist. In April, he received a discharge letter from the Army after publicly revealing he was gay, Reid writes to Obama.
Lieutenant Colonel Victor Fehrenbach is headed for a "similar fate," Reid tells Obama. He was an 18-year Air Force vet who has flown numerous missions against Taliban and al-Qaida targets, "including the longest combat mission in his squadron's history." The government, Reid notes, has invested $25 million on his training.
He wrote both to President Obama and to Defense Secretary Bob Gates asking them to get The White House on board with taking action ASAP to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell", the military's ban on LGBT soliders serving our country openly and honestly. Let's hope his letters get some good attention, and that The White House will speak up soon and take action. The House currently has HR 1283 pending, so a good word from Obama can really help it move along.
And in the mean time, we can also help by speaking up ourselves. Let's keep asking Congress to get moving and pass HR 1283.