Military Panel Calls For First New York Discharge of Guardsman Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

By
Choi at the San Francisco Pride Parade this weekend. Photo: Getty Images

A vocal opponent of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy who has appeared on numerous television programs discussing his homosexuality this year has been recommended for dismissal by a military panel. First Lieutenant Dan Choi, a fluent Arabic speaker who led combat patrols and helped rebuild schools in Iraq for over a year, will now have to face the first army commander and the chief of the National Guard bureau — where he is likely to be officially discharged. He would be the first national guardsman in New York to be kicked out of the armed forces for his sexuality. In March, Choi went on television protesting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," announced his sexuality in Army Times, and pointed out that the policy forces soldiers to lie. "It's an immoral code that goes against every single thing we were ever taught at West Point with our honor code," he said. He's since been on popular news programs like The Rachel Maddow Show discussing the issue. This weekend, he was a celebrity grand marshal of the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade.

Earlier this week, President Obama urged gay leaders to be patient with his administration on keeping its campaign promises to eliminate policies like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Advocates hoping to hold him at his word use examples like Choi — a man who volunteered to lead troops in combat in Iraq and who was equipped with essential and undersupplied language skills but who is being kicked out of the military right now — as evidence that patience is not always a virtue.

US military panel calls for gay soldier to be discharged [Guardian UK]
Earlier: Obama Tells Gays to Be Patient