LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer Lady Gaga released a video on Friday urging members of the Senate and her “fellow Americans” to help repeal the military rule banning openly gay people from serving in the armed forces.
In her most overt political stance to date, Gaga, 24, described herself as “a voice for my generation” and urged her millions of fans to help overturn the policy which allows gay men and women to serve in the military as long as they keep their sexual orientation private.
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on Tuesday on whether to begin debate on the annual Defense Department authorization bill, which includes language aimed at ending the Clinton-era “don’t’ ask, don’t tell” policy. The vote is expected to be close. The U.S. House of Representatives has already voted to repeal it.
In the black and white video, which is over 7 minutes long, Gaga sits in front of an American flag wearing a demure dark tie, white blouse and dark blazer.
“I am here to be a voice for my generation,” Gaga, 24, said in the YouTube video. “Not the voice of the generation of the senators who are voting, but for the youth of this country — the generation affected by this law and whose children will be affected.”
Calling the law unconstitutional, she urged her fans to call senators in their district. She also asked followers on Twitter to make their own videos supporting equal rights.
“Tweet me your video and I will post them,” she wrote.
The Grammy-winning performance artist has both flaunted, and been outspoken on, the topic of sexuality and has openly courted gays and lesbians at her concerts.
Last weekend, she walked the red carpet at the MTV Music Video Awards with four gay veterans as her dates.
Gaga also posted the video on her personal website, her Facebook Fan Page and her Twitter account. The singer, whose hits include “Bad Romance” and “Alejandro”, has over 18 million fans on Facebook and more than 6 million followers on Twitter.
Lady Gaga, who burst onto the music scene two years ago, is no stranger to controversy. On Sunday she wore a dress made entirely of raw meat to the MTV awards show and in live shows she has set her piano on fire and smeared herself with fake blood.
Editing by Jill Serjeant