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VLS Students, Professors Join DC Rally to Urge Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don’t Tell"

March 21, 2008

CONTACT: Diane Derby, Media Relations Director

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT – Three dozen Vermont Law School students, along with Professor Jackie Gardina and other VLS faculty, joined hundreds of veterans and activists in a March 7 rally at the U.S. Capitol, during which they called for the repeal  of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that bans lesbians, gays and bisexuals from openly serving in the military.

The rally, organized by the Service members Legal Defense Network (SLDN), coincided with a lobbying effort that called on Congress to pass the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which would repeal the 1993 law that led to the ban.

Gardina, who also serves as a SLDN board member, was among those who spoke to the crowd that assembled on the West Lawn of the Capitol for the midday rally.

"It is time to lift the ban," she told the crowd. "We have it in our power to end ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' We have it in our power to insist that Congress pass the Military Readiness Enhancement Act. We have it in our power to win the day when any American, regardless of sexual orientation, can serve openly and proudly in our nation's military."

Vermont Law School is one of only two law schools in the nation that do not allow military recruiters on campus due to the discriminatory nature of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. As a result, VLS is prevented from receiving federal funds from three major appropriations bills due to the Solomon Amendment, which requires colleges and law schools to allow military recruiters or risk losing federal funding.

Read Professor Gardina's remarks (PDF)

To listen to a report on the rally that aired on Vermont Public Radio, please visit

Seven Days, a Burlington-based alternative weekly, wrote this story that can be read on

The rally was also featured on the Society of American Law Teachers' website.

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