Just because Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is history doesn’t mean the work of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is done. In fact the organization, instrumental in aiding military men and women caught in the web of DADT, is looking for a new executive director.
Army Veteran Aubrey Sarvis (right) SLDN’s Executive Director since 2007, recently announced he’d be stepping down, though he plans on staying on until his successor is named. Iraq war veteran and former Congressman Patrick Murphy, the lead sponsor of legislation that enabled the repeal, had nothing but praise for Sarvis:
“Without the leadership, vision, and tenacity of Aubrey Sarvis, it’s quite conceivable that getting a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal bill through Congress and signed by the President would not have happened in 2010… The nation’s service members —straight and gay—owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Aubrey.
But it won’t be a cakewalk. In a statement to the press, SLDN co-chair April Heinze said:
The search for a new Executive Director comes at a critical moment in the fight for full LGBT equality in our armed forces. Repeal of the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law, alone, is not enough. The fight for full equality marches forward – especially for those legally married gay and lesbian service members who today do not receive the same recognition, support or benefits for their families as their straight, married peers. The board and staff at SLDN will not rest until we overcome these and the remaining inequalities for LGBT service members.