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Posted on 06/23/2010 09:01 AM EST
About Mike Castle

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Douglas Marshall-Steele
To the Editor:

Those considering Rep. Michael Castle a moderate Republican learned otherwise when he recently voted against ending “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” Although 79 percent of Americans say gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military (CNN), Castle obeyed his party and voted to continue the discrimination.

I spoke with him, expressing my disappointment in his partisan vote for bias. As an independent without party loyalty, I also told him my vote in November will be for his opponent, Chris Coons, who supports ending “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”

I am an Army veteran myself, having enlisted at 18 during Vietnam. I served successfully and rose five ranks in three years in the Army Security Agency, a military intelligence organization. I created top secret materials in an overseas location and was honorably discharged. I am also gay.

The point is, I was very willing to serve my country and if necessary, die for it. And if some 66,000 gay and lesbian personnel now serving are willing to fight and even take a bullet for their country, the least we can do is not require them to lie about themselves or discharge them for being honest. Mr. Castle doesn’t get this. Mr. Coons does.

Toward equality,

Douglas Marshall-Steele
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