ABC News' Arlette Saenz and Candace Smith report:
One day after the Senate shot down the chance to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, nearly one hundred protesters gathered north of the Capitol to urge the Senate to forego their holiday vacation and remain in session until DADT is repealed.
“None of us gets to go home for Christmas until we’re done with our jobs, the Senate doesn’t go home until it’s done with its job,” said Commander Zoe Dunning of the United States Navy.
Amid chants of “Don’t go home,” the protesters stressed that legislators had an obligation to the straight and LGBT service members stationed across the world through the Christmas holidays.
“If I can serve overseas in harm’s way for four Christmases defending my nation then the Senate can certainly do the same,” said Major Mike Almy of the United States Air Force.
Gay and straight activists shared stories of personal struggle and sought to show that, no matter the orientation, all service members serve the same military.
“Today all around the globe our service members in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard are standing watch in the cold, like we are today, some might be a little bit lucky and are in slightly warmer places but they’re standing watch and their orientation has nothing to do with their ability to do their job,” said former Sergeant Pepe Johnson.
The protest was organized by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a non-profit organization which was established in 1993 when DADT originally passed. SLDN also organized the DADT rally with Lady Gaga this September.
–Arlette Saenz & Candace Smith