Press Releases

TitleUSD Student, Advocate Invited to White House for Don't Ask, Don't Tell Bill Signing
ContactMelissa Wagoner
Contact E-mailmwagoner, at
Contact Phone(619) 260-4659

University of San Diego senior and president of the campus PRIDE Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual Transgender (LGBT) Alliance, Joseph Rocha, has been invited to Washington, D.C., to be present when President Barack Obama signs the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) legislation which bans gays from openly serving in the military.

Rocha, a veteran and gay rights advocate has tirelessly fought for the repeal of DADT.

Since Rocha’s honorable discharge under DADT, he has worked for leaders from President Obama to Congresswoman Susan Davis. In honor of those who did not come back from the Middle East, he has dedicated his life to the fight for human dignity, safety and basic job security for all who serve.

Rocha has testified before city, state, and federal committees and was even arrested while demanding social justice and the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law. Rocha has spoken out against DADT on NPR, CNN and Newsweek, and has written for the Washington Post and the Huffington Post. Most recently he testified in the Log Cabin Republicans suit that successfully proved Don't Ask, Don't Tell unconstitutional on two counts.

Rocha said, “I am dumbfounded to attend this deeply personal and historic bill signing alongside our president and I do so with utmost respect for every veteran and active duty member whom we honor with the full repeal of discrimination among our nation's finest men and women. Tomorrow we will finally see the beginning of an unfolding era of equality.”

Earlier this morning, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi signed the bill in what is called an enrollment ceremony — the ceremonial sending of the bill to the president’s desk. Congresswoman Susan Davis took the opportunity to thank Rocha for his tireless efforts.

Tomorrow’s White House bill signing will take place at 9:15 a.m. EST.

Rocha is available for interviews. Please contact Melissa Wagoner at (619) 260-4659 or Rocha directly at (951) 415-6126.

leading change at USD