Nadler: Firing GLBT Military Translators is a Grave Mistake

May 18, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a House Judiciary Committee markup today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) called on Congress to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.  The Committee considered a bill to grant “special immigrant status” to 50 foreign translators who have been working with the American military.  Congressman Nadler pointed out that under the U.S. military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, 54 Arabic linguists have been dismissed from the armed forces simply for being gay.

“The answer to our dire need for translators is not to give U.S. citizenship to Iraqis and Afghanis,” Congressman Nadler said, “but rather to stop discriminating against American citizens who are ready to serve their country.

“Because of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ the military continues to devote its resources to rooting out patriotic gay Americans whose service is central to the war on terror.  This is just another example of how ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is not in the best interest of our national security, and why we should repeal it as soon as possible.”

Nadler is a cosponsor of H.R. 2293, which would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  He vowed today to pursue all avenues toward ending discrimination in the military.