Joe Sestak Calls for Ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at Lehigh Valley’s Pride in the Park Festival
MEDIA, PA – Democratic Senate candidate, Congressman Joe Sestak joined Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pennsylvanians on Sunday, speaking at the 15th Annual Pride in the Park Festival. Thousands of people turned out for the event, where he spoke out about the need for Congress to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
“Everyone who goes to war for his or her country deserves equal rights,” Sestak said. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is discriminatory and detrimental to national security. We cannot turn our backs on anyone who serves this nation honorably.”
As a former 3-star Navy Admiral, Joe spent 31 years serving with and in command of men and women with diverse beliefs, backgrounds and identities. When approached by servicemen and women about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, his chief concern was that the Navy needed these sailors and their skills, talent and patriotism. Since the policy went into effect in 1993, more than 11,000 men and women have had their military careers ruined.
Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley hosted the Pride in the Park Festival at Allentown’s Cedar Beach Park. Since 1993, the Festival has grown from a small community event into a celebration of arts and culture, throughout the Lehigh Valley. The annual event features concerts, an artisan gallery and over 100 vendors and non-profit organizations.
Joe Sestak was elected to Congress in 2006 after a distinguished 31-year career in the United States Navy, and he is honored to represent the Southeastern Pennsylvania district where he was born and raised. During his Navy career, Joe attained the rank of 3-star Admiral, served in the White House as Director for Defense Policy on President Clinton’s National Security Council, served in the Pentagon as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, and led a series of operational commands at sea, culminating in command of the USS George Washington Aircraft Carrier Battle Group (30 ships, 100 aircraft, and 15,000 sailors/marines/ aviators/SEALs) during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In our nation’s time of crisis in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the Navy turned to Joe Sestak to serve as the first Director of “Deep Blue,” the Navy anti-terrorism unit formed in response to the attacks. Joe is the highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to either branch of Congress. He graduated second in his class from the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a Master’s in Public Administration and a PhD in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. Joe lives in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Susan, and daughter, Alex, and proudly represents the 7th District, where his parents and six of his siblings still reside.