— Mark J. Pelavin, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
We welcome yesterday’s ruling by Judge Virginia Phillips barring the U.S. military from discharging crucial and qualified personnel solely because they have been identified as gay or lesbian. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” forces our service men and women to live their lives in fear, unable to be their true selves, and its abolition is long overdue. Even as Congress and the military pursue their review of the policy, Judge Phillips’s ruling makes clear that DADT is unsustainable as a policy and a detriment to our nation’s and the world’s security.
As Jews, we are taught that all people are created b’tselem Elohim, in the Divine image. All those who risk their lives to serve our country and defend America’s freedom – no matter their sexual orientation – deserve our utmost gratitude and respect. We can no longer afford to let prejudice deprive our nation of the skills and commitment of talented and patriotic men and women.