by CalWatchdog Staff | January 20, 2010 9:22 am
Jan. 20, 2010
By KATY GRIMES
With California’s massive budget problems, there should be plenty of meaningful, critical state business for the Legislature to focus on. However, the nine-member Assembly Judiciary Committee spent time last week on a resolution calling for the end of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy — a federal policy that is not controlled by the state Legislature. Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, presented Senate Joint Resolution 9 before the Assembly Judiciary committee, where she received committee support.
The Clinton administration’s 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that requires gays in the military to hide their sexual orientation, was at the heart of the Kehoe’s resolution. According to Equality California (EQCA), a non-profit civil rights organization that advocates for the rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in California, more than 13,500 American military service members have been discharged under the policy.
Several gay members currently in the military as well as some retired military, testified before the committee sharing individual stories of the discrimination they suffered in the military because of their sexual orientation.
I spoke with Linda Barr in Kehoe’s office and asked why the senator presented a resolution that appeared to have no bearing on California business. “It sends a strong statement to Congress that the state Legislature is behind it,” she explained. Asked if Kehoe would be following up with legislation or additional resolutions, Barr only deferred to Equality California.
When I spoke with Major Thomas Keegan, Director of Public Affairs for the California National Guard, I asked him if Kehoe’s resolution affected the National Guard in any way. Major Keegan explained that even though the California state Legislature may be behind the abolishment of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” it is a federal policy, and as such, the California National Guard follows the policy to the letter of the law.
Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2010/01/20/new-dont-ask-about-this-resolution/
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