Commendation of Admiral Mike Mullen for his witness for tolerance, inclusion, and integrity

Resolution for the 2010 New York Annual Conference

Whereas, on February 2, 2010, in a historic moment, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he believes gays and lesbians should be free to serve their country openly in the United States Armed Forces, as he argued forcefully for an end to the discriminatory "don't ask, don't tell” policy; and

Whereas, Admiral Mullen in support of this declaration further testified:

"Mr. Chairman, speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do."

“No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."

 “I have served with homosexuals since 1968….Everybody in the military has, and we understand that.”

 "For me, personally, it comes down to integrity – theirs as individuals and ours as an institution."

 "I also believe that the great young men and women of our military can and would accommodate such a change. I never underestimate their ability to adapt."

 "This is about leadership, and I take that very, very seriously.”

“…[P]utting individuals in a position that every single day they wonder whether today’s going to be the day, and devaluing them in that regard just is inconsistent with us as an institution"; and

Whereas, following his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Admiral Mullen tweeted, " [ I ] stand by what I said: Allowing homosexuals to serve openly is the right thing to do. Comes down to integrity”; and

Whereas, the New York Annual Conference has stood in firm, consistent and persistent support of full and unqualified equality for gay and lesbian people in society and in the church; and

Whereas, there are distinct parallels between the “don't ask, don't tell” policy in effect in the armed forces and the official stance of the United Methodist Church with regard to gay and lesbian persons; and

Whereas, Admiral Mullen’s declarations that “it comes down to integrity” and “this is about leadership” apply equally to the United Methodist Church; therefore be it

Resolved, that the New York Annual Conference commends Admiral Mullen for his strong declaration of support for equality for gay and lesbian people in the armed forces; and be it further

Resolved, that this commendation be sent in writing to Admiral Mullen; and be it further

Resolved, that a copy of this commendation be sent to the United Methodist Council of Bishops along with a copy of this resolution.

Passed June 11, 2010