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Higgins Speaks Out Against WNY LGBT Bullying and Hails DADT End

Washington D.C. — Buffalo area Member of Congress, Brian Higgins spoke on the floor of the United States House of Representatives marking the final enactment of the law that ended the 19 year old Don't Ask. Don't Tell act.

Representative Higgins also reminded the Congress that their work remains unfinished. Higgins referred to the suicide of 14 year old Amherst, NY resident Jamey Rodenmeyer this past weekend. Jamey was apparently the long time target of harassment and bullying by a small group of classmates at both Heim Middle School and Williamsville North High School.

Below is the text of Congressman Higgins remarks:

Mr. Speaker,

I am proud to come before this body today to celebrate the end of the discriminatory ďDonít Ask, Donít TellĒ policy.

For too long, American service men and women selflessly fought to protect our freedoms without receiving the same freedoms and protections in return. Under this flawed policy, we dismissed fourteen thousand patriots from our forces. And we turned away countless more Americans who simply wanted to volunteer to defend the country that we share.

Today our nation shows the world that we can rise above prejudice and fear and take a long overdue step toward protecting our service members and reducing discrimination in America.

But, I am sad to say that this weekend we received a terrible reminder that our work is not done. A fourteen year old boy from my community, who was teased by his classmates about his sexual orientation, took his own life.

This heartbreaking tragedy was needless and should be a reminder to all of us that there are many more like Jamey Rodemeyer who are made by some to believe that itís not ok to be who they are.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud of how far weíve come. But I know that there remains a long road ahead of us. I am committed to continuing the fight for full equality for all Americans and implore my colleagues to do the same.

staff

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