A Letter to Senator Webb

Every few weeks I try to contact a public official, whether it's a phone call to a senator or a letter to a member of the school board. The topics are wide-ranging but I try to comment on a timely issue when I can. Some letters are more impassioned than others.

It's as much a spiritual discipline as anything else. I am just one person, and I know that my letter is one of many and probably doesn't make a tremendous difference. But it feels like an important thing to do. It's my way of lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness. And we never know when we will be the tipping point.

Here is today's:


Dear Senator Webb,

Justice delayed is justice denied. I strongly urge you to vote to end Don't Ask Don't Tell on Tuesday.

You have said in the past that you want to respect the process, that the members of the military need to have their say.

In response, I would ask you to remember the almost 14,000 troops who have been fired for being gay or lesbian--which in addition to being a disgrace, is tactically foolish while we've been prosecuting two wars.

I also remind you that a majority of Americans are opposed to DADT and want to see it end. Sometimes, doing the right thing for a minority puts you at odds with the majority. This is not one of those times.

Finally, I urge you to remember the oath you took when you became a senator. You vowed to "support and defend the constitution." Voting to retain a form of discrimination that has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge is an affront to that oath.

It is also an affront to the 14,000 gay and lesbian servicemembers who uttered those very same words when they joined the military.

I implore you to show leadership on this issue.

In appreciation,
The Rev. MaryAnn McKibben Dana