Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) on Thursday told President Barack Obama that he is deeply disappointed that the president still hasnt repealed the dont ask, dont tell policy that bans gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military.Hastings penned a letter to the president reminding him that he and 76 other House Members had already asked him to halt investigations under dont ask, dont tell aimed at discharging service members who are openly gay. In addition, the lawmakers asked Obama to work with Congress to come up with a new policy that doesnt discriminate based on sexual orientation.More than two months later, I have yet to receive an official response, said Hastings.The Florida Democrat notes that the administration has requested another 17,000 troops for Afghanistan and warns that the military cant afford to lose more soldiers to the 1993 policy, which he argued results in the loss of two service members per day.While I commend Secretary [Robert] Gates and the Pentagons general counsel for their continued efforts to identify possible provisional measures, you can take action right now. I sincerely hope that your administration will make dont ask, dont tell a priority and do everything in its power to repeal this ridiculous, bigoted law once and for all, says Hastings.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.