Congressman Pat Murphy kicks off his nationwide tour to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
"When I was in the Army, I saw a lot of great soldiers thrown out of military just because they were gay," Murphy told Philly Metro.
Murphy is the prime sponsor behind the bill that would overturn the policy. Since it was adopted in 1993, about 13,000 gay men and women have been kicked out of the military.
"Our troops didn’t care what another soldier’s race was, color, religion or sexual orientation. They cared whether they could kick down a door, fire an M4 [rifle]," said Murphy, who served in the Iraq war. He's the first veteran of the war to serve in the house.
Murphy told the Metro he's not worried about his campaign being politically unpopular with some voters. "Some have said this is gonna hurt you politically," Murphy said. "But I didn’t come to Congress to win re-election, I came to change the direction of the country."
The Democrat from Bucks County will be in Philly Monday, in front of Independence Hall. He'll be joined by the gay rights groups Human Rights Campaign and Servicemembers United.
"I feel so passionately because I know, and I've seen first-hand how it hurts our national security and that's why we need to act now, and it also wastes taxpayer dollars."