On Monday, Lady Gaga will take her role as a political activist to a new height by headlining the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) rally to repeal the military policy that bans gay men and women from serving openly in the nation’s armed forces. The rally will be held in Portland, Maine, where the state’s two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, will be asked to join the fight against the policy in the upcoming vote.
Last week, Gaga released a video with the help of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), an organization dedicated to overturning DADT, urging her fans to get active in the fight:
“We are not asking you to agree with or approve the moral implications of homosexuality; we’re asking you to do your job, to protect the constitution … I have called both of the senators that operate in my district. I will not stop calling until I reach them and I can leave them this message: ‘I am a constituent of the senator, my name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, also known as Lady Gaga. I’m calling to ask the senator to vote with Senators Reid and Levin to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and oppose John McCain’s shameless filibuster. We need to do this for our gay and lesbian soldiers, and finally repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”
Within 72 hours of the release of her YouTube video and Twitter endorsements, more than 107,000 people visited the SLDN website, with 93 percent of those people being first time visitors. Paul Levinson, professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University, told Politics Daily last month:
“She’s in a unique position in popular culture.Â She is widely popular with a big segment of the population even more so than Madonna was 20 years ago. Being a celebrity with YouTube and all of the social media is more powerful than it has been in the past.”
“When you have someone like Lady Gaga speaking out on it, it may give some people reason to reconsider their position. When you had John Lennon singing give peace a chance, more people were turned against the war. A pop icon can be much more persuasive in politics than a politician. She is doing a great service to the Democratic process.”
Lady Gaga walked the white carpet at the MTV VMAs last week with soldiers who were dismissed because of the DADT policy. Last year, she was a featured speaker at the National Equality March as well as a performer for the Human Right’s Campaign dinner, where President Obama, who was the keynote speaker at the dinner, famously joked:
“It is a privilege to be here to open for Lady Gaga. I’ve made it.”
It’s an understatement to say Lady Gaga is one of the most influential icons in our history. Whether you agree with her political beliefs or not, you can’t help but hang off of every word she says. And we all know she’s damn good at getting your attention. Props to Gaga for putting up a good fight for the gay and lesbian community. I love that woman….man…..thing.
[image: Pop Eater]