Right to Serve Campaign: Charlottesville, Virginia
In 30 cities across the country this fall, openly gay young adults have been challenging the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy by attempting to enlist in the armed forces. The policy prohibits openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people from serving in the U. S. military. It is government-sanctioned discrimination, and begets the treatment of gay Americans as second-class citizens. But, led by Soulforce Young Adults, the Right to Serve Campaign is a national effort to promote an inclusive military that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
Inspired by the sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement, fifteen students from Charlottesville, Virginia decided to stand against another area of government discrimination: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
On Wednesday, September 27th, those students went to local recruiting center and discovered that they had been locked out, symbolic of the US Military’s ‘locking-out’ of openly lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Still optimistic, those students waited outside, hoping for the ability to speak with a recruiter. However, after ‘sitting-out’ for 9 hours, the group realized that the recruiters were not willing to even open up their doors to openly gay people.
The next day, several in the group returned at 0900, again hoping to speak with a group, this time with success. At 0930, however, after being rejected from the military without even the courtesy of being able to fill out the application, four from the group sat-in the center.
At 1000, the police came and forcibly removed the sitters-in, and took them to the local jail. At 1130, they were released, and given a summons to appear in court on October 11th, and 0900.
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If you have questions, comments, or concerns, contact:
Wyatt Fore at email@example.com