A Tribute to Dixon Osburn (Frank 2007)
A Tribute to Dixon Osburn
HON. BARNEY FRANK
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Wednesday, May 10, 2007
Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Madam Speaker, for 14 years, Dixon Osburn has been the Executive Director of the Service Members Legal Defense Network, an extremely effective and principled organization that has fought against the unfair discrimination against gay, lesbian and bisexual people in the U.S. armed services. It is hard to combine passion and common sense in a political cause--people who feel strongly often have an understandable difficulty in controlling their strong feelings to the point where they can follow the most rational strategies, and serving as the head of an organization exacerbates this, since the head of such a group is required to preach thoughtfulness to people who are--often justifiably--far too angry to want to think about things.
Dixon Osburn as Executive Director of SLDN performed this extremely difficult task very, very well. No one ever doubted the depth of his commitment to the cause of fairness for LGBT service members, and no one could fault the analytical discipline he brought to the job. I believe that we will some day in the near future abolish this unfair ``don't ask, don't tell policy, which discriminates against individuals and deprives our military of personnel who would perform useful services at a time when we need that. When we do reach that goal, the important work that Dixon Osburn has done over these past 14 years will deserve a great deal of the credit.