Right to Serve Campaign: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. ~ George Orwell

Three openly gay people tried to enlist in the army. But, their dreams of joining the armed forces were shot down. They took a battery of tests. And after qualifying all three were rejected because they were honest about their sexual orientation. ~ Jim Gardner, 6 ABC Anchor

Additional media coverage included CBS, the Daily News, and the Inquirer.

On Wednesday, August 16th, we returned to the recruitment center to protest their rejection. The goal was to create public awareness and establish an undeniable presence. As expected, recruiters once again responded by locking the doors.

Always innovative, supporters formed two rows on both edges of the sidewalk creating a human outline of sorts. And so as not to be ignored, several participants sat across the pavement connecting the vigil lines.

Eventually, this resulted in intervention by law enforcement who cited that they were endangering the public by obstructing a highway.

This is what Dr. King called good tension, necessary trouble. It is in the name of democracy that we choose to protest injustice in such an assertive manner. The truth must be bold. It must be visible. ~ Jarrett Lucas, Right to Serve: Philadelphia

The five individuals who took a courageous stand were consequently arrested and charged with ‘obstruction of a public passageway’.

Their actions were demonstrative of their commitment, conviction, and resolve. And indeed, they will continue to demand the right to serve. The next step is to garner public support of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which would repeal "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell".

Currently, 15 out of 19 Pennsylvania representatives have yet to co-sponsor the bill. Polls indicate that an outstanding majority of citizens are in favor of lifting the ban. Clearly, our representatives are not representing us at all! Soulforce Young Adults are determined to change that...

Register now to stand with us! Change the future. Make history.

Donations help cover the costs this campaign in Philadelphia. Support the right to serve.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please contact:

Jarrett Lucas at jarrett@soulforce.org or (215) 917-3703

By giving rights to others which belong to them, we give rights to ourselves and our country.