College students engaged in a sit-in on Tuesday in Washington, DC to protest the discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals in the military. Students from the University of Maryland, American University, and George Washington University organized at a military recruiting center in downtown DC to protest Public Law 103-160, which is also known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” This legislation shapes US military policy, prohibiting lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals in the military from revealing their sexual orientation.
The action included the attempt of two LGB students, Mandy Craig and Alexandra Douglas-Barrara, to enlist in the military. While the women expected that they would not be allowed to enlist because of their sexual orientation, the recruiting center locked the doors, denying them entrance.
Students occupied a waiting room at the recruiting center and sat along the streets to protest the legalized discrimination. Douglas-Barrera commented, “Our message today is raising awareness of the harmfulness of this policy. It really is counterproductiveÉwe’re in need of recruits.” Further, the protest was designed to bring attention to the 65,000 LGB troops enlisted without the ability to disclose their sexual orientation.