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Officers May 26, 2010

Dorothy I. Height
National Council of Negro Women
Vice Chairpersons
Judith L. Lichtman
National Partnership for Women
Karen K. Narasaki
Asian American Justice Center
William L. Taylor
Citizen’s Commission on
Civil Rights
Treasurer Dear Representative:
Gerald W. McEntee
American Federation of State,
County & Municipal Employees

Executive Committee On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we write to express our
Barbara Arnwine
Lawyer’s Committee For strong support for the Murphy Amendment to H.R. 5136, the National Defense Authorization
Civil Rights Under Law
Arlene Holt Baker Act for Fiscal Year 2011. The Murphy Amendment would set into motion the long-overdue
Ron Gettelfinger repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. We view this issue as a
International Union, United
Automobile Workers of America
Marcia Greenberger
civil and human rights priority. As such, our voting records for the 111th Congress will
National Women’s Law Center reflect your position.
Linda D. Hallman
American Association of
University Women
Andrew J. Imparato
American Association of People When it was first proposed in 1993, we believed that the policy of DADT was wrong from
with Disabilities
Benjamin Jealous both a moral and practical standpoint. DADT turned its back on the principle that people
Jacqueline Johnson who are willing and able to do a job should be given a fair opportunity to do it. This is not
National Congress of
American Indians
Michael B. Keegan
only one of the most important principles behind the struggle, throughout our nation’s
People For The American Way history, to guarantee the civil and human rights of all people – it is also a matter of sound
Floyd Mori
Japanese American Citizens
military strategy and common sense as well. At the same time, DADT also ignored decades
Marc H. Morial
National Urban League of evidence, including the examples of military forces in many other countries, and even
Janet Murguia
National Council of La Raza many compelling individual cases in the U.S. armed forces, which clearly showed that gays
Debra Ness
National Partnership for Women and lesbians could serve openly and honorably in the military.
and Families
Mary Rose Oakar
American-Arab Anti-
Discrimination Committee
Terry O’Neill
Since its inception, the policy of DADT has failed miserably to achieve its objectives. While
National Organization for Women supporters claimed that it would allow gays and lesbians to continue serving in the military,
John Payton
NAACP Legal Defense and
Educational Fund, Inc. as long as they were quiet about their sexual orientation, our nation’s experience with the
Barry Rand
AARP policy has been drastically different. More than 13,000 men and women have been
Dennis Van Roekel
National Education Association unnecessarily removed from military service – and in many cases, after they were subjected
Anthony Romero
American Civil Liberties Union to highly intrusive investigations or harassment tolerated under the policy. In addition, we
Thomas A. Saenz
Mexican American Legal Defense
& Educational Fund
will never know how many other bright, motivated men and women would have been willing
David Saperstein to serve, but were deterred by the policy from ever signing up in the first place.
Religious Action Center for
Reform Judaism
Shanna L. Smith
National Fair Housing Alliance
Joe Solmonese In 2010, the policy of DADT is not only wrong and ineffective, but also simply
Human Rights Campaign
Andrew L. Stern incomprehensible. Societal attitudes about homosexuality, both inside and outside our
Service Employees
International Union military, have changed drastically since 1993, to the point where sexual orientation is simply
Randi Weingarten
American Federation of Teachers no longer a matter of concern to an ever-growing majority of people.1
Mary G. Wilson
League of Women Voters

Committee Chairperson
Karen K. Narasaki
Asian American Justice Center See, e.g., Washington Post/ABC News poll, Feb. 4-8, 2010 (finding 75% of Americans support
President & CEO
Wade J. Henderson allowing openly gay Americans to serve in the military); Zogby International, “Opinions of Military
Personnel on Sexual Minorities in the Military,” 2006 (finding 73% of returning Iraq and Afghanistan
veterans personally comfortable around gays and lesbians).
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The Murphy Amendment allows Congress to finally do its part in bringing DADT to an end, while still
giving the Department of Defense the time it needs to study and properly implement the change. It delays
the effective date of the change until the Pentagon’s study has been completed and the President,
Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have reviewed the study and have made
the necessary policy changes. As such, it fully addresses the concern, previously expressed by Defense
Secretary Robert Gates, that legislative action could cut the Pentagon’s implementation study short –
while giving them the room to move forward with repeal once the study is complete.

We strongly urge you to support the Murphy Amendment. Thank you for your consideration. If you
have any questions, please contact Senior Counsel Rob Randhava at (202) 466-6058.


Wade Henderson Nancy Zirkin

President & CEO Executive Vice President