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Walk toward freedom: Parashat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16)

Parashat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16)

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/torah_portion/article/walk_toward_freedom_parashat_beshalach_exodus_1317-1716_20110111

Last month, an 85-year-old Jew from Queens, N.Y., proudly joined other invited guests at the White House as President Obama signed into law the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” paving the way — finally — for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces. For Frank Kameny, ousted from service to the military in 1957 for being gay, it’s been a long and winding road to this moment. A decorated veteran who fought in World War II’s Battle of the Bulge, Kameny brought his dismissal to the Supreme Court in 1961 (he lost), led a demonstration at the Pentagon in 1965, and then went on to help found the modern gay liberation movement. For all these reasons, Kameny is rightfully credited with helping to begin the assault on the military’s longstanding opposition to homosexuals serving openly in its ranks, which dates back to 1778.

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