When it comes to the repeal of the U.S. Armed Forces’ controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, [artist id=”3061469″]Lady Gaga[/artist] is proving that she’s not giving up without a fight.
Gaga, who has often used her celebrity to speak out in favor of gay rights, recently launched a campaign to prompt lawmakers to repeal “Don’t Ask,” which bars openly gay Americans from serving in the military and has prompted the discharge of thousands of servicemembers. She walked the VMA white carpet with former members of the military who were kicked out because of their sexual orientation and she has been tweeting with high-profile politicians such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The pop icon has also blasted Arizona Senator John McCain for his attempt at blocking the repeal of the measure.
On Friday, Gaga released a video statement explaining her views on the policy, imploring several senators to vote in favor of the Defense Authorization Bill which contains language that would lead to the repeal of “Don’t Ask,” and actually picking up the phone and calling New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. She closed the video urging viewers to address their senators and support Reid in his efforts to bring down the policy.
And when Mother Monster speaks, her fans listen.
Gaga released another video linking to over 30 thirty video clips from young people voicing their dedication to changing “Don’t Ask.”
“Hi everyone, this is Gaga. Hello Senator McCain. I’ve been on the internet all day watching videos that have been sent in to repeal ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Gaga says. “It’s overwhelming, it’s emotional and quite honestly I can’t believe it. So, I wanted you to see them. Please watch, here they are,” the megastar says before blowing a kiss.
A playlist featuring fans from around the country follows the taped statement, beginning with a message from Alicia, an openly gay fan who recounts her experience in the military.
“I chose to serve, I did not choose to be gay,” Alicia says. “Please repeal ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ It is difficult enough to find soldiers, sailors and airmen who have the honor, courage and commitment to serve.”
Alicia insists that the policy contributes to a culture of fear among servicemembers, and recalls going to extreme lengths to fit in, including marrying a man and later “contributing to the near 75 percent divorce rate in the military.”
In a video posted from the account 5awesomemonsters, one young woman declares, “It’s not fair that in the world that we live in today, society is much more OK with two men holding guns, than men holding hands.”
A pair of friends, Lauren and Ellie in Colorado, sent a video showing fans how to call lawmakers, before leaving a voicemail for Senator Michael Bennet and getting their neighbors to ring up the politician as well.
The calls apparently worked as Senator Bennet later responded with his own online video pledging his support for the cause.
“Thanks for your advocacy [and] making sure your voices are heard. It’s so important for you to be involved in our democracy,” Bennet says. “So, my answer to you is that I support the repeal of ’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ ”
User americanpie3491 posted a video in which a young lady cheerfully calls Michigan Senator Carl Levin to thank him for his commitment to repealing the law.
Evan in Indiana filmed a video after calling politicians Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar and asking them to support fellow senators Reid and Levin.
“A person’s sexuality has no impact on their ability to serve and defend our country,” Evan says. “I hope you take this message into consideration and remember that you have been elected to be my voice.”
Florida resident Diana suggested that the policy is inconsistent with other U.S. laws, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, aimed at combating discriminatory practices in the workplace.
“Other places we work at, we’re not able to be discriminated against because of marital status, religion or sexual orientation,” Diana states. “What makes it OK to discriminate against soldiers who are fighting for this country for democracy and are willing to give their lives for this country?”
Rachelseesfireworks put up a slideshow featuring a young woman holding a series of white placards, including one that read, “They serve your country with their heart, so why can’t they use that same heart to love whomever they want?”
“If you’re under the impression that one person is less valuable than another because of their sexual orientation, you are very wrong,” Alexander Michael says in his video, before ringing his senator. “If they are willing to die for this country, you should give them the equal opportunity as another person.”
Gaga fan inesthomasine explained why she believes it’s important for young people to get involved in the movement.
“We are the generation that needs to have our voices heard,” she says. “Because if we choose not to, we will live with the consequences for years to come.”
What do you think about Lady Gaga and her fans’ campaign to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Let us know in the comments!