Don't Ask Don't Tell: The Human Toll

March 4, 2008, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Cox Lounge, Brandeis School of Law
Sponsored by: Lambda Law Caucus, Diversity Committee, UofL Office for LGBT Services, Student Government Association
Lambda Law Caucus, in partnership with the Diversity Committee, the Student Government Association and the University of Louisville Office of LGBT Services, presents a lunchtime forum "Don't Ask Don't Tell: The Human Toll." This forum will explore the human side of the U.S. military's discriminatory policy toward gays and lesbians, including a brief discussion by Professor Sam Marcosson on how law students are touched by Don't Ask Don't Tell via the Solomon Amendment. Our featured speaker, Arabic language specialist and former Sergeant Bleu Copas, was recently the subject of a hilarious and informative segment on "The Daily Show." His bio, from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, is copied below. A free, light lunch from Expressions of You will be available beginning at 11:30.

A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist, Sergeant Copas was dismissed from the U.S. Army under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," though his accuser was never identified. Copas was "outed" by a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. An eight-month Army investigation culminated in Copas' honorable discharge from the Army - less than four years after he enlisted, motivated by a sense of duty to his country in the days following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Following his dismissal from the Army, Sergeant Copas spoke widely in the press about living under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and the need to repeal the ban on open service. He appeared in countless newspaper articles (including The New York Times), on talk radio programs around the country, and on both Good Morning America and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He currently lives in Tennessee.