Last month, the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), an advocacy organization for female service members and veterans, held its second annual Truth and Justice Summit in Washington, D.C. The event brought together over 100 advocates, supporters, and sexual assault survivors to advocate for an end to sexual violence in the military. OutServe-SLDN was a proud organizational partner to the summit.
As part of the mission, and
By Ann R. Peters, Attorney at Law
“LGBT Service Members and the Armed Forces One Year After ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’” was one of many legal panels related to diversity presented at the American Bar Association annual meeting in Chicago Aug. 3.
This panel highlighted two legal issues related to DADT repeal in particular. Despite the
As part of Air Force Week New York City, top brass reached out to the Service Women’s Action Network to address the crisis of sexual assault at military training facilities. General Edward Rice, Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command sought out SWAN’s counsel in the wake of a broad investigation of sexual assault of recruits by Military
The harsh and insensitive rhetoric trivializes the lives and families of America’s service members, and tramples on their First Amendment rights. The elite alliance of retired chaplains and denominational endorsers have lobbied relentlessly to violate “free exercise” by restricting the ministries of chaplains whose religious beliefs aren’t anti-gay enough for them.
Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) Makes Strides Against Sexual Assault
By Liza Swart
The Service Women’s Action Network held Truth and Justice: The 2012 Summit on Military Sexual Violence, May 8, in Washington, D.C.
SWAN sees itself as a civil rights organization, and continues to research and advocate on LGBT-specific issues, with a focus on issues of sexual violence. Their vision is to make the military a safe workplace and to see the end of sexual violence in the military, resulting in a more connected and equal environment for LGBT members.
“This was the first mass globalization for sexual assault survivors on Capitol Hill,” said Katy Otto, SWAN spokesperson. “This is significant because there have been a lot of stories in the press, especially about sexual assault in the military, but those stories have not included LGBT survivors. The summit provided opportunities to get those voices out to the media.”
While the era of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) has ended, LGBT service members may still find themselves at the center of policy debates as various groups continue to fight for full equality. The Magazine’s Repeal Watch section has previously highlighted organizations such as the Palm Center and Knight’s Out, and as a continuing feature, OutServe Magazine is touching base with key names on both sides of the DADT debate to see how its demise has affected groups’ legislative advocacy and educational missions. (*Editor’s note: The anti-repeal organizations contacted refused interviews for this article.) In future issues, this section will continue to feature those organizations such as Freedom to Marry and USNA Out that have had key roles in the movement for LGB equality.
While the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) was relatively smooth, there are still many issues affecting individual service members, their families, and even the Services themselves that must be addressed. Cultural change happens slowly. For example, female service members have been serving in or alongside the military in supporting roles throughout history, yet women continue to endure harassment and discrimination on a daily basis.
Organizations like the Military Acceptance Project (MAP) seek to prevent this type of discrimination against service members.