Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and OutServe have announced a new executive director today, as the two groups protecting the rights of LGBT military personnel finalize their merger this week.
Army veteran Allyson Robinson, who has been tapped to helm the new OutServe-SLDN, is a 1994 graduate of West Point, and commanded Patriot missile units in Europe and the Middle East. Robinson, who is transgender, left the Army in 1999 to pursue a vocation in Christian ministry, earning a Master of Divinity in theology in 2007.
Most recently she served as the deputy director for the Human Rights Campaign’s Workplace Project.
“The repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ taught us that to be victorious, we must fight inequality on multiple fronts – in the courts, on Capitol Hill, and in the public square,” says Robinson. “It’s time to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, revise laws that prevent the military from honoring the service of all of our nation’s men and women in uniform, and end marriage discrimination for our service members and their families once and for all… Until they are guaranteed equal opportunity, recognition, support, and benefits, our mission is incomplete. We cannot and will not leave them behind.”
Robinson has also promised to advocate on behalf of gender-nonconforming servicemembers. “We cannot stop until we reach the day when all qualified Americans who wish to wear the uniform of our armed forces have the opportunity to do so with honor and integrity – and without fear of discrimination or harassment – whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.”
Outgoing SLDN director Aubrey Sarvis praised the appointment, saying “Allyson will bring a new perspective and enthusiasm – as well as a deep commitment – as we enter the next phase of the fight for full LGBT equality in the Armed Forces.”