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H.J.R. 4







Chief Sponsor: Christine A. Johnson

Senate Sponsor: ____________

             9      LONG TITLE
             10      General Description:
             11          This joint resolution of the Legislature denounces the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't
             12      Tell" policy and urges its repeal.
             13      Highlighted Provisions:
             14          This resolution:
             15          .    denounces the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy related to the military
             16      service of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals; and
             17          .    urges the President of the United States and the United States Congress to adopt the
             18      Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009 (H.R.1283), to end the United States'
             19      discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military.
             20      Special Clauses:
             21          None
             23      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             24          WHEREAS, passage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 1994, which
             25      included the policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue, Don't Harass," has led to
             26      the discharge of a great number of lesbian and gay service members, thus ending their careers
             27      and burdening them with a lifelong stigma;

             28          WHEREAS, the capacity of the United States Armed Forces to carry out its missions is
             29      hindered when competent and qualified individuals are involuntarily discharged;
             30          WHEREAS, the Armed Forces of the United States have been forced to retain Reserve
             31      and National Guard service members on active duty past standard deployment lengths in order
             32      to carry out its recent missions;
             33          WHEREAS, the ability of the United States Armed Forces to recruit and retain the best
             34      and brightest Americans is hindered by excluding a section of the population solely because of
             35      sexual orientation;
             36          WHEREAS, transgender and transsexual service members are not specifically banned
             37      by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which addresses only issues of sexual orientation, but they are
             38      nonetheless harmed by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," because they are often harassed or accused of
             39      being gay or lesbian on the basis of nongender-conforming behavior;
             40          WHEREAS, gay and lesbian service members have served honorably throughout
             41      United States' history and continue to serve with distinction on active duty;
             42          WHEREAS, these men and women have achieved military honors, decorations, and
             43      promotions to the highest ranks in their respective services for their valor and service to the
             44      people of the United States;
             45          WHEREAS, at least 24 other nations, including Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and
             46      Israel, allow open military service by gays and lesbians;
             47          WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of
             48      Investigation, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Central
             49      Intelligence Agency, the Secret Service, and other federal departments handling national
             50      security allow their gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender personnel to serve openly;
             51          WHEREAS, there are at least 65,000 gay and lesbian service members on active duty in
             52      the U.S. military today and another 1,000,000 gay and lesbian veterans who have served our
             53      nation proudly;
             54          WHEREAS, more than 13,000 service members have been discharged under the "Don't
             55      Ask, Don't Tell" policy, including hundreds of service members in "critical occupations," such
             56      as counterintelligence experts and medical specialists;
             57          WHEREAS, according to a Government Accountability Office report, 323 language
             58      specialists have been discharged from the military under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy,

             59      including 55 Arabic and 9 Farsi translators, vitally important positions to intelligence gathering
             60      that are in critical shortage;
             61          WHEREAS, American taxpayers have paid between $250 million and $1.2 billion to
             62      investigate, eliminate, and replace qualified and patriotic service members who want to serve
             63      their country in the military but are dismissed because their sexual orientation violates the
             64      "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy;
             65          WHEREAS, evidence from a study conducted by the Center for the Study Of Sexual
             66      Minorities in the Military suggests that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy increases the stress
             67      levels of gay troops, lowers their morale, impairs their ability to form trusting bonds with their
             68      peers, restricts their access to medical care, psychological services, and religious consultations,
             69      and limits their ability to advance professionally and their willingness to join and remain in the
             70      armed services;
             71          WHEREAS, every Department of Defense authorized study has shown that there is no
             72      correlation between sexual orientation and unit cohesion in the Armed Forces;
             73          WHEREAS, public opinion polls have found that the majority of American citizens
             74      support keeping trained and skilled openly gay and lesbian service members in the military and
             75      repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell";
             76          WHEREAS, a 2006 study of the Michael D. Palm Center found that nearly 75% of
             77      military personnel say they are personally comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians;
             78          WHEREAS, more than 100 retired generals and admirals have called for the repeal of
             79      "Don't Ask, Don't Tell";
             80          WHEREAS, the readiness of the United States military to protect and defend our nation
             81      is severely compromised because of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that is
             82      arbitrarily enforced by commanders whose personal beliefs may influence their disciplinary
             83      action;
             84          WHEREAS, discharges under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy are historically fewer
             85      when troop strength is low, as in times of war;
             86          WHEREAS, this denotes the tacit recognition by the United States military that gay and
             87      lesbian service members are fit and capable for military service, further illustrating the arbitrary
             88      enforcement of the policy;
             89          WHEREAS, it would be in the best interest of the country for the President of the

             90      United States and the United States Congress to adopt H.R.1283, the Military Readiness
             91      Enhancement Act of 2009, to end the discriminatory policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"; and
             92          WHEREAS, military readiness is enhanced when every qualified, capable American,
             93      regardless of sexual orientation, is welcomed into the United States Armed Forces and has their
             94      talents utilized in the best interests of our national security:
             95          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah
             96      denounces the United States' "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy related to the service of gay,
             97      lesbian, and bisexual individuals in the military.
             98          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature urges the President of the United
             99      States and the United States Congress to adopt the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of
             100      2009 to end the discriminatory federal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
             101          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be sent to the President of
             102      the United States, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United
             103      States House of Representatives, and to the members of Utah's congressional delegation.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 11-23-09 11:17 AM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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