FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
Brad Luna - email@example.com - National Contact
Ed Reggi - ShowMeNoHate@gmail.com - Local Contact
Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) Refuses to Apologize, GetEQUAL and Missouri Advocates Set to Protest Outside Congressman’s Jefferson City Office Will Deliver 3,000+ petitions demanding apology and an end of efforts trying to stop “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal; Letter from gay, Missouri soldier, currently serving in Baghdad and facing discharge under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, to be read
WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, GetEQUAL, a direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, Show Me No Hate, a Missouri based LGBT civil rights organization, and other Missouri LGBT equality advocates are set to protest the Jefferson City, MO offices of House Armed Services Chair Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) over the congressman’s refusal to apologize for homophobic remarks he made last week regarding the repeal of the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. On Monday, GetEQUAL and Show Me No Hate, a Missouri based LGBT civil rights organization, announced the launch of a national campaign targeting Rep. Skelton by demanding a public apology from the Missouri congressman for comments opposing a vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal for fear of sparking a “national discussion around homosexuality” and posing the offensive, homophobic question that asked, "What do mommies and daddies say to their 7-year-old child?" -- referring to his own outdated views on discussing the lives of LGBT Americans. To read the press release on the campaign’s launch – including a link to the full campaign email and take action – please visit: http://getequal.uptownstudios.net/?p=432 .
Tomorrow, in addition to 11:00 am (CST) protests, lead almost entirely by Missouri voters, that will take place outside of Rep. Skelton’s Jefferson City Congressional District Office, the group will also deliver over 3,000+ petitions also calling on the Congressman to issue an immediate, public apology for his homophobic remarks. Also, the group will be reading a letter to Rep. Skelton from a gay, Missouri soldier who is currently on active duty In Baghdad and facing discharge under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. The letter calls for the Armed Services Chairman to stop his efforts trying to thwart any attempt at progress toward the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
“Congressman Skelton has had ample opportunity to step forward and take responsibility for his comments by issuing a public apology,” said Ed Reggi, a local Missouri resident and co-founder of Show Me No Hate, a Missouri grassroots coalition made up of advocates who support full equality for the LGBT community. “His refusal to apologize for his homophobic remarks and to take a pledge to stop his efforts to kill any attempt at repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ can only be interpreted as a blatant disregard for the care and treatment of his gay and lesbian constituents. Therefore, tomorrow we are prepared to hold the Congressman accountable for his homophobia.”
WHAT: Protest of Rep. Ike Skelton’s Jefferson City Congressional District Office demanding a public apology for homophobic remarks about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
WHEN: Thursday, June 17th, 2010 from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon (CST)
WHERE: Rep, Ike Skelton’s Jefferson City Congressional District Office, 1401 Southwest Blvd, Suite 101, Jefferson City, MO 65109-2429
WHO: GetEQUAL, Show Me No Hate and a coalition of other Missouri based LGBT advocates and organizations
Last week, the Associated Press reported that during a media breakfast on Friday, 4th, 2010, Rep. Ike Skelton, currently the chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee and an original author of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law in 1993, made a series of homophobic remarks during a discussion of why he did not support repeal of the military’s ban on gay and lesbian Americans from open service. The full Associated Press story can be read here: http://tiny.cc/98msy .
To take immediate action calling on Rep. Skelton to publicly apologize for his homophobic remarks, please go to: www.getequal.org/missouri.php
To join the effort to push for an Executive Order to immediately stop the firing of gay and lesbian service members, please go to: www.getequal.org/dadt.php
GetEQUAL is a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. Emphasizing direct action and people power, the mission of GetEQUAL is to empower the LGBT community and its allies to take action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way. For more information on GetEQUAL, please visit: http://www.getequal.org. You can follow GetEQUAL on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/getequal, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/GetEQUAL/357280104305, or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/getequal.
SHOW ME NO HATE is a grassroots coalition of committed Missouri organizations and individuals working to restore full Marriage Equality in Missouri, please visit http://www.ShowMeNoHate.com