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Lady Gaga stirs the DADT debate using social media
Brie Maaske
Antelope Staff
Lady Gaga sparked controversy with her verbal protests against U.S. military policy Dont ask, Dont tell.

When newsmaker Lady Gaga speaks, world media hangs on every word.

Even the U.S. Senate recently sat up to listen as she continued to stand for a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

“Every day we fight to abolish laws that harbor hatred and discrimination against all people—laws that infringe on our civil liberties, unfair laws like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Lady Gaga said.

After Lady Gaga spoke these words in a video addressed to her fans, she uploaded a message to U.S. Senators on her website urging Americans to stand up for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

The message can be seen at online at the link featured at the end of this story.

In the video, Gaga made attempts to reach her home state senators in New York, but was met with no response and a full voicemail inbox. She assured fans that she would not stop calling until she was able to speak to them about repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and urged other Americans to do the same.

Gaga and Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid traded tweets on Twitter regarding the Senate vote. Reid told Gaga repealing the measure was the right thing to do. “Anyone qualified to serve this country should be allowed to do so,” Reid tweeted.

Gaga, along with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and many other organizations and individuals across the nation made efforts that were met with a disappointing setback on Sept. 21, when the bill, which would repeal DADT, was blocked by a Republican-led filibuster.

The National Defense Authorization Act was stalled by a 56-43 vote, only four votes short of passing.

A week earlier, wearing a raw-meat dress, Gaga also used her star power to bring attention to this issue by bringing four members of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, who had been discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy as her dates to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.

Gaga has been working side by side with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in gaining support for the repeal of DADT.

In a continuation of her attempts to educate the public on why DADT should be repealed, Gaga spoke to a crowd of almost 4,500 people in Maine on Sept. 20.

In her speech, Gaga pointed out that the Constitution gives rights and freedoms to all Americans, equally, and that the government shouldn’t be able to pick and choose who are entitled to these rights. She stressed that with DADT, that is what is happening.

"We're going to war for you and you and you and you, but not you, because you're gay. You can risk your life for this country, but in the end, you're not fighting for yourself; you're fighting for straight people. You are not included; you are not included when we say ‘equal.’ You are not even fully included when we say ’freedom,’” Gaga said.

The president of the gay rights advocacy group, The Human Rights Campaign, says that there is still a chance that DADT can be repealed via congressional action, but encourages Americans to keep fighting.

Since DADT was enacted by President Clinton in 1993, more than 13,500 service members have been discharged under the law, including 72 Arabic Linguist Specialists.

Within the first year 49 nuclear, biological and chemical warfare specialists, 212 medical-care workers and 90 nuclear power engineers were discharged.

Service members can be “outed” by anyone: a superior officer, a past lover or by accident. The current law says they must be discharged.

Maj. Margaret Witt was “outed” by the wife of a serviceman because she was angry with the review that Witt had given her husband.

Witt served for 20 years with the Air Force and was working as a flight nurse for an air-medical transport unit when the process began. Her employee reports described her as an “exemplary officer,” an effective leader, skilled clinician and caring mentor.

Despite this, she was discharged because of a six-year relationship with a civilian woman.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton ruled that Witt’s discharge under DADT was unconstitutional and ordered that she be reinstated as soon as possible on Sept. 24.

As Americans, we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are all created equal and are all entitled to the rights and freedoms given to us by the Constitution. Use those rights to stand up for what you believe in and what is right.

If someone is willing to sacrifice their life in order to save your rights and your freedoms, isn’t the least you can do is vote for theirs?


“We are not asking you to agree with or approve the moral implications of homosexuality; we're asking you to do your job, to protect the constitution.”
-Lady Gaga


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