Transgender veteran chosen to lead SLDN-Outserve (VIDEO)Top Highlights, Breaking News Thursday, October 25th, 2012
WASHINGTON – Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and OutServe, the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel, today announced the selection of transgender Army veteran Allyson Robinson to lead the newly combined organization. The organizations will formally merge this weekend.
A graduate of West Point, Robinson commanded Patriot missile units in Europe and the Middle East before she resigned her commission to pursue a calling to Christian ministry.
Robinson lives with her wife of 18 years and their four children in Gaithersburg, Md.
“Allyson Robinson is exactly the right person at the right time to be our leader and voice in Washington in the fight to achieve full LGBT equality in the military. She comes with an exemplary military background, strong political and policy acumen, and a deep commitment and vision for bringing about the changes needed to carry forward the work we began with the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” said April Heinze, retired Navy captain and co-chair of the SLDN board of directors.
“I am honored to lead the new OutServe-SLDN into this next phase of advocacy and action on behalf of our brave LGBT service members, veterans, and their families. Until they are guaranteed equal opportunity, recognition, support, and benefits, our mission is incomplete. We cannot and will not leave them behind,” said Robinson, who departs her position at Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to take the helm of the new organization today.
HRC President Chad Griffin said, “The LGBT rights movement is made stronger by the inspired appointment of Allyson Robinson as head of a critically important organization. As a West Point graduate, experienced officer and movement leader, she brings her extensive knowledge of the issues to this new assignment. What I admire most about Allyson is that she leads with her heart and that quality will serve our troops and veterans extraordinarily well as we continue the fight for full equality.”
Robinson has held several key positions at HRC. She has worked to build transgender cultural competence and helped lead and manage HRC’s broad diversity and inclusion portfolio. Robinson assisted in the development of state and local nondiscrimination legislative strategy, and has lobbied state legislatures in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maryland and Nevada for inclusive employment nondiscrimination protections. Most recently, Robinson launched HRC’s LGBT cultural competency organizational learning program, providing training in LGBT inclusion to organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to federal agencies to colleges and universities to NGO’s and faith organizations. She remains one of HRC’s most requested speakers.
Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and outgoing SLDN executive director said, “Allyson will bring a new perspective and enthusiasm – as well as a deep commitment – as we enter the next phase of the fight for full LGBT equality in the armed forces.”
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