One of the leaders behind the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal efforts announced his resignation today from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, though not until a replacement is found. More on Aubrey Sarvis’ decision after the jump.
Army vet Aubrey Sarvis has led the nonprofit Servicemembers Legal Defense Network since 2007, including through the major DADT repeal effort, but today announced he will be stepping down from the organization.
"Working with the team at SLDN on behalf of our nation's LGBT service members has been the great honor of my life,” Sarvis said in a statement. “But make no mistake—there is much more to be done. While I will not be on the front lines in the same way I have since 2007, I will be there nonetheless, doing all I can to help us reach a day in this country when there is full equality and every qualified patriot who wishes to serve can do so without fear, discrimination or harassment. That day is coming sooner than many think.”
And with the news of Sarvis’ decision, SLDN also officially announced their search for a new executive director who will, among other duties, be responsible for managing SLDN's ongoing legal and legislative efforts to change the definition of "spouse" in three titles of U.S. Code that pertain to benefits for married LGB service members and veterans and dismantle the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). He or she will oversee SLDN's pro bono legal services for LGBT servicemembers.
Sarvis will remain in his current role until a replacement is named.
"Without the leadership, vision, and tenacity of Aubrey Sarvis, it's quite conceivable that getting a 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal bill through Congress and signed by the President would not have happened in 2010. Aubrey pushed early and strategically for repeal, and once it was clear that the Congress would look quite different following the 2010 elections, SLDN went into overdrive to work with us to craft a plan to make the vote happen in the lame duck session. The nation's service members - straight and gay - owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Aubrey," said Iraq war veteran and former Congressman Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania. Murphy was the lead sponsor of repeal enabling legislation in the U.S. House.