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City Council Tells Congress and Pentagon to Shove It

By Aaron Bailey in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 28, 2005 2:12PM

soldiers.JPGChicagoist doesn't quite understand why our City Council gets involved with national matters when there's corruption in City Hall and pot holes on Clark. Nonetheless, yesterday they passed a resolution calling on Congress (that'd be the one in Washington, D.C.) to pass The Military Readiness Enhancement Act. The Act would repeal the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on allowing openly gay and lesbian individuals from serving in the military.

aldtunney.jpgThe local resolution was introduced by Alderman Thomas Tunney of the 44th Ward (pictured right) and unanimously approved by the entire City Council.

The Act is currently supported by only 90 members of Congress -- including four U.S. Representatives from Illinois. Wednesday's proclaimation, and others from cities like New York and San Francisco, probably won't do much to help passage. We fear it's going to take a Commander in Chief with a spine (unlike Presidents Bush, Clinton and oh, all before them) to repeal "Don't Ask."

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group pushing for the repeal, hailed Chicago's support. "I'm proud of Chicago's leadership in fighting anti-gay discrimination in our armed forces and standing up for a military made stronger by the contributions of LGBT Americans," said Jean Albright, a former Master Sergeant in the Air Force and member of the SLDN board of directors.

According to the group, there are more than 18,000 LGBT veterans in the Chicago area.