The folks at Servicemembers United, a group “which represents gay and lesbian troops and veterans” repotst “that the White House had barred civilian representatives of gay and lesbian military families from” a White House event spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden honoring military families:
“It is rather unfortunate that both East Wing and West Wing staff have refused to allow a representative of gay military families to even be in the room at an event that is supposed to honor their commitment and sacrifice,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United.
Kristina Schake, Communications Director for the First Lady, explained the decision this way in an email to CBS News.
“The President has been crystal clear that the Administration is moving forward with the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ quickly and efficiently,” she said. “However, it still remains the law. The White House, including the First Lady and Dr. Biden, look forward to working with the families of gay and lesbian service members after certification occurs and repeal goes into effect.”
Nicholson, from Servicemembers United, complained in his statement that “[t]he First Lady’s office has used the continued enforcement of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ as an excuse to exclude us, even though they know that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ does not apply to the civilians who work at their advocacy and service organizations.”
I’m sure other gay organizations will be rushing to criticize the White House for not including this group.