You may remember Elaine Donnelly. She's pictured here testifying at the July congressional hearings on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'. She's seated next to Eric Alva, the first Marine to be wounded in Iraq, who came out of the closet in February 2007.
Donnelly heads up the right wing group 'The Center for Military Readiness' and called upon Veterans Service Organizations to attend a "a private, off-the-record briefing" in Washington D.C. on Thursday intended to strategize on how to prevent the repeal fo "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" from going forward.
PFLAG obtained the letter sent to the VSOs which reads, in part: "Given your organization's long-standing commitment to military readiness and the high standards and sound policy that promotes it, I hope I can count on you in joining CMR to defend the law regarding homosexual conduct in the military. We need to talk about what can be done, and why, face to face...Due to this issue's urgency, this invitation is not transferrable to casual observers, interns or other non-executive support staff. This PowerPoint briefing, which includes short video excerpts of the July 23 House Armed Services Committee hearing on gays in the military, will cover everything you need to know to provide the type of principled, engaged leadership that only you can give. I would welcome new ideas and commitment that could turn the situation around."
According to PFLAG's Steve Ralls, "The briefing, featuring CMR executive director Tommy Sears, will be held at the organization's Washington conference room, at 1615 L Street, N.W., Suite 650, on October 2nd from noon until 2:30pm."
Wrote Ralls iin the Huffington Post: "Thursday's briefing in Washington is a last-minute, last-ditch effort by Donnelly to try and curry some small measure of influence on Capitol Hill. To do so, she is likely to give VSO leaders misinformation, as she has done with the press and the public, in order to mislead them on the issue and attempt to win them over to her side. As polls of military personnel show that young service members and veterans are overwhelmingly comfortable and ready to serve with gay colleagues, she is attempting to reach out to the older, more conservative VSO membership to try and rally support for her cause."
Watch veteran and Rep. Patrick Murphy read Donnelly at the hearings in July, AFTER THE JUMP...
PFLAG Exclusive: Right-Wing Activists Plan Private D.C. Briefing on Gays in the Military [pflag]
Right-Wing Activists Plan Private D.C. Briefing on Gays in the Military [steve ralls - huffington post]
Congress Holds Hearings on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ [tr]