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May 8th, 2009
09:51 AM ET

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Continues Under Obama

President Obama pledged during his presidential campaign to end the military’s ban on gays serving openly, otherwise known as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The president has been in office for over a hundred days and the armed forces continue to fire gays and lesbians who violate the military’s policy on serving openly as a homosexual.

Lt. Dan Choi of the New York National Guard is an Iraq War veteran and a West Point graduate. He also happens to speak fluent Arabic. Choi received a letter of discharge from the Army for “homosexual conduct.” His firing comes after he came out in March along with 37 other West Point graduates in a group called Knights Out.

Lt. Choi joined Carol Costello on CNN’s “American Morning” Friday. He acknowledges he made the choice to publicly admit his sexuality.

“I publicly admitted who I was. I refused to lie and to hide my identity. And because of that, they said, it doesn't matter that you graduated from West Point. It doesn't matter that you're fluent in Arabic. It doesn't matter that you went to Iraq and that you want to deploy again. Pack your stuff and go home. You're fired.”

The Department of the Army's discharge letter to Choi states, "This is to inform you that sufficient basis exists to initiate action for withdrawal of Federal Recognition in the Army National Guard for moral or professional dereliction... You admitted publicly that you are a homosexual which constitutes homosexual conduct... Your actions negatively affected the good order and discipline of the New York Army National Guard."

Choi says the letter was a “big slap in the face.”

“I raised my right hand and said I want to serve. My commander in chief is going to send 21,000 troops overseas. I want to be one of those… Basically, by me saying I am gay, they're saying that that ruined the good order and discipline of the entire New York Army National Guard, which is very ridiculous. From what I've seen, my unit has been very professional. I'm very proud of my unit. They respect all soldiers for what they can do as members of their team.”

The White House has not yet commented on Choi's case, but their website’s statement on the policy currently reads: “He [President Obama] supports repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in a sensible way that strengthens our armed forces and our national security.”

This is a change from what the website previously stated in April, which was ”President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.”

Since the passage of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in 1993, more than 12,500 men and women have been discharged from the military under the law.

Filed under: Military
soundoff (550 Responses)
  1. JD

    Do not repeal Don't ask Don't tell. It will destroy military recruiting. As a retired military person and USMA grad I can tell you that while it seems that most people are saying it should be repealed, that is all coming from a very vocal minority of people. No hetero male soldier wants to share a shower or a foxhole with a guy who may be attracted to him. Many traditional christian males will not join an organization that openly supports gays. The role of the military is to defend the country and not to serve as a vehicle for social engineering by a small minority that want their lifestyle mainstreamed. Unit cohesion is necessary to achieve a strong military. Cohesion is destroyed when you throw homosexuality into the mix. And as far as the US being "backwards and behind Europe" if you really want to be as messed up as Europe feel free to move there. Last time I checked the Dutch Army accepts gays and it isn't very intimidating, especially to its potential enemies.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  2. CJ

    Here's a new policy Obama can sign off on: DON'T ASK, DON'T LIE.

    Who cares if this guy is gay or not ??? The US and Turkey are the only NATO countries who fire people simply because they are gay. Time to join the rest of the real world !

    May 8, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  3. Active Duty

    Hey Ben in Dallas, an atheist is someone who chooses to not believe in God. By making a choice you are admitting there is a God.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  4. Bob

    Give me a break! He lied for 4-years at West Point, he lied from graduation until he came out with this "Knight's Out" fiasco, but now he's some noble saint for refusing to lie about who he is. He knew the rules and decided to voluntarily break them (including accepting a $250,000 education on the public dime) so eat the consequences and go away. Idiot, I'd go after him for his West Point education to. He just wants to prove a point (which he won't do) so live with your decision.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  5. Jason D. Groton, CT

    I think that he should be sent to Fort Leavenworth for prison. Likewise, I have nothing against homosexuals. The problem here is that this Officer states he had the courage to do the right thing and be honest about himself.

    Unfortunatley, he lied in the begining and that is called a Fradulent Appointment. I encourage everyone to research it. This man is very lucky that he is telling his story on CNN. He should be behind bars for lying to the Department of Defense.

    There is no courage in this case, just lies.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  6. mike

    One thing he's done right.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  7. juge

    This is a ridiculous law. Our Armed Services is cutting its nose off to spite its face. DUMB DUMBER & DUMBEST! The resume of this soldier and many others dismissed are impeccable! Bigotry is not acceptable in this country. Civil Rights is part of our moral makeup.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  8. Jason

    My comment is not about right or wrong, what he did. It's more about something I never see written about or brought up.

    A gay guy and a straight guy is the same as a straight woman and a straight man in respect to attraction to the opposite sex. So the gay guy in the army, does he take showers with all the other guys? this is the same thing as women taking showers with guys which doesnt happen. So gay guys in the military should be separated from the men for things like showers, bathrooms etc but could serve in the unit.

    If there was a gay guy in my unit, I would respect him as a team member but would not want him taking a shower with me or going in the same bathroom etc. Guys are naked and so he would be looking at us with sexual attraction then.

    Gay guys should go into the womens bathrooms. A gay guy views a woman the same as two straight guys view each other, based on what I have been reading and hearing from gay guys I know. A naked woman to a gay guy would mean nothing but a naked man would.

    So how would the military get around this? I would prefer eliminatng dont ask dont tell, then I would not have to wonder if my buddy next to me is really gay and he is checking me out whenever he sees me naked.

    I have nothing against gays, I just dont want them taking showers with me like guys do together in the military etc.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  9. Rick

    I am glad the gays want to serve our country. However, I remember why the policy went into place. There are several gay bashers in the military. Once someone comes out, they are at risk of being harmed by the other soldiers. I don't feel the policy should be lifted for that manner. However, I also don't believe in automatic dismissal. It needs to be done on a case by case basis. If the unit is accepting and there is no fear of harm, then leave them where they are. If not, transfer the soldier to another unit, if it can be done safely.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  10. prior6thID

    I do not understand the fuss. As prior military myself I support all army personnel.. The problem is this has been the Pentagons policy for years. He knew that and still opted to open up. That is just bad judgement on his part. Do I agree with the rule NO but a rule it is.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  11. loanman225

    The military is just like the church: Lie about who you are and you can be whatever you want.! Another similarity is that they both are filled with gays!

    I served seven years in the Air Force, and I have helped to start two radically inclusive churches in the deep south.

    God doesn't hate gays; God hates liars and haters!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  12. Mike

    Ask, Tell, Volunteer, and Shoot To Kill. The United States Armed Forces has progressed with all the alacrity of the State Of Mississippi. "Dangerously Behind The Times" should be the slogan. If the qualifications being looked at are anything beyond, ready, willing and able, then the people making these decisions are the one who need to be removed. My M-16A2 never asked me if I was gay, black, hispanic, satanic, etc. It only asked me to reload. Funny, there is a right to bear arms in the event of a militia, but no right to serve ... Irony, at its finest.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  13. Patrick

    I serve in the Air Force, and I have no problem with gays being in the military, but I have one question...Do we HAVE to know that your gay? Honestly, is it going to kill you that no one knows about it? Choi joined the military fully knowing about the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, and yet, he still openly admitted to being gay, hence, he broke the rules. What I'm trying to say is that the rest of the military doesn't need to know that you're homosexual anymore than they need to know that I'm hetrosexual.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  14. lcftrich

    In raising his right hand in willingness to serve, this Lt. Choi was also raising his hand in understanding of the policies enforced by the U.S. Military....particularly the Don't ask, Don't TELL policy...unfortunately, I guess he wasn't aware that joining an organization to publicly display his homosexuality would violate that policy. If one cannot comply with the rules, one should not "swear" that he will upon being sworn in. It's his own fault for being discharged. That's why our military is strong, and I hope they continue to chapter out people that voilate military policy...not necessarily homosexuals in particular...but anyone whose actions do not reflect positively upon our country. Hopefully Obama's finally seeing the light on these matters, hence the statement change on the website.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  15. Active Duty

    Wow, I never realized that so many people were so blind. The current policies work just fine. If you are a civilian, shut your mouth. If you are retired military and do not support current policies, then shut your mouth. This is for those of us in the military to deal with. As for this West Pointer, good riddens to a dirtbag.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  16. former Army NG

    Sorry, having been served and being out in the field and barracks with open bathrooms, I see good reasons to keep gays out of the armed forces. There is a difference in civilian life. I don't want to be spending more tax money to start putting new barrack and restroom facilities to house gays. I have actually had under my charge an openly gay man working for me in my civilian job for about 6 years. Beside some drug and alcohol issues, he was a good worker. Happy to having working with me when he was sober. But in civilian life you go to your job and go home. Especially during war time and some mandantory training, the men have to bunk with the men, the women with the women. I would not feel comfortable having to undress as a staight man if I have gays in the barracks with me. How is that fair to us that are straight?

    May 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  17. Susan

    As retired military – GLAD to see it! We live under the highest morale and ethical conduct.....tradition, honor. We have to have some standards.....If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  18. Bleux

    Heh Racy, If that is how you feel then get the hell out. Lt. Choi is now a hero twice over. There are already 4 members of the G8 that allow it (our allies mind you) and a total of 9 nations. If you think this means they are going to hell keep in mind th at Italy is one of the nations that allows open service. We are suppossed to be the land of the free. It is time to put up or shut up!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  19. Kelly

    In Response to "Matt":
    As a military veteran I have an uncomfortable truth for you, the great majority of people serving in the milittary are poor and lower middle class, and do not share the ideas of diversity that others might. To inflict openly gay members of the military will surely have the effect of lowering morale. Not pretty, not nice, but that is the fact. Our national security is more important then how you feel.

    Umm...did you serve in the same military as I did? A large minority of female soilders are lesbian and a sizable amount of male soilders are gay. We fought side by and straight...very few were as closed minded as this policy. Lower, middle class...buddy, that's where most of us come from and most of us do understand diversity and once exposed to someone we know and trust that also happens to be gay, we adapt our beliefs. All this policy does is give reason to those who do hate gays a reason to hate them and it gives this country further ammo to target them as second class citizens not deserving of marriage, jobs, housing, or to even the right to fight for this country. How horrible slavery and Jim Crowe looks to us now...our kids will look at us the same way about gay civil rights. Shame on us for this insanity!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  20. chrissy

    lets not pretend that heterosexual males in the military do not display homo-erotic behavior as a part of their "discipline". we all know the truth of the uber male locker room.

    yes. a majority of people in the military have different views than america regarding gays in the military. they tend to be far more socially conservative, far less open to different lifestyles.

    but what kind of ethical and moral code allows discrimination and bigotry because it might be inconvenient for people to face the truth that people are different?

    there is no reasonable ethical argument for denying equal rights to all individuals in america. and i agree with the post that comments on the hypocricy of the "conservative evangelican right". im pretty sure jesus said he who is without sin can cast the first stone. translation: we are not the judges of other people.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  21. Michael

    I am gay, I was in the military, and I told my Command that I was gay. My Command was a family unit. I told them I was gay because I knew they would do nothing about it. Were they disappointed? Yes. Did they distance themselves from me once I told? No. In fact I was even closer to my command. I prided myself in doing exceptional work, have the medals to prove it. Of particular interest, my Command had a little less than 100 personell, of those 100 (just rounding up for sake of ease) we had two gay officers, one gay Army Soldier of the Year, one gay Army soldier of the Year candidate, and seven other gay members. Eleven percent of my Command was gay. Taking this percentage further, what would be the result if we suddenly lost 11% of our Armed Forces? Being gay is such a small part of who we are, why does it have to be thrown in our faces?

    When anyone in my Command did have the ridiculous notion that I might hit on them, I reminded them that I had high standards, and they were very much below them.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  22. Rain

    I was openly bi-sexual and served in the United States Navy and no one ever brought proceedings against me, but I guess it's because he was so publicly open with the media. It's very sad for the military to lose a good man over his exual orientation. For those of you like Anthony in previous post who think gays shouldn't serve I hate to tell you this, but there are many, many gay and lesbians serving now and many who have served its silly that they should have to hid their sexual orentation. As far as enlisted soldiers being too poor and ignorant to except openly gay and lesbian service must have never have serviced...I served and I've never met a group of people so accepting and supportive of their military family we respect and love each other and most people could give a damn what you do in the bedroom as long as you are there for each other when it counts. Most of the service members I served with thought the "don't ask don't tell policy" was stupid and should be done away with, but what do we know according to some of you we're all too poor and ignorant to know any better!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  23. MP94


    It is a federal law passed by congress and signed by Pres. Clinton. Please blame the law, the congress, etc

    Military commanders have no say in the law. But they have sworn to obey and so when Lt Choi goes to his commander and says he's gay, the Commander MUST follow the law.


    May 8, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  24. Mike

    The military is a “team sport”. I’m for whatever makes the team stronger. If alternative sexual preference causes a rift then the stakes are too high to allow that to happen.

    The fact that one is guaranteed the right to the pursuit of happiness does not mean that there are not consequences to the choices.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  25. Bill

    The notion that people who have never served have no right to call for an end to the military's ban on gay is "NONSENSE!" To service people who think that way I say, "Hey buddy, its not your army!". Its the United States Army. All citizens have a right and a duty to change it to bring it in line with modern values. Service members also articulated this argument before the integration of African-Americans into the Armed Forces. The Military is not a private club- it is a (taxpayer-funded) extension of our society, and I vote to change this policy. Mark well, it is going to change.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  26. Steven

    I'll start off by saying I was in the military for 26 years, sexual orientation is not something you select, and the Don't ask and don't tell law is wrong. It is a shame. Now, whether Lt Choi was fired is out of the military's hands. The military must follow the law that says this is what happens if someone comes out as a homosexual. They have no choice. I voted for Obama and every day since I thank God he is our President, but the law is now directed by Obama. Our President has to get rid of this law and the military will follow his lead. I do think Obama has seen some of the problems involved and back-stepped some on his prior committment. Who knows when he will repeal this law but it has to be done. We have to give equal rights to every American.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  27. MickeyG

    This isn't about him being gay ro straight, it's about knowing the policy. Whether the policy is right or wrong, he knew if he came out, it was the boot. PERIOD. That's like saying well don't send me to jail for murder, because I did it for something I beleive in. You know the rules. Jusr ot not, if you break them, suffer the consequences.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  28. Ben Dallas

    For those of you who say our backward outdated beliefs in "religious morality" still work, this is proof to the contrary.

    Undoubtedly this was a stand out member of our armed forces, speaks the language of the enemy fluently and probably had capacity for upper levels of leadership. As a society persecution of these people makes us weaker without a doubt. Just as discrimination of blacks did back in the 60's the anti-gay movement is an unjust movement which directly violates their civil rights!! It's right out there on the table, this violates their civil liberties and we're ALL suffering for it.

    I'm not gay, but I'm an atheist and sometimes I think I'm the only one who thinks clearly anymore. A belief thats over 2000 years old which is enforced by a "god" and created by man is silly, it doesn't work, and it's slowing our progress as a society, this makes me angry.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  29. What'sWrongWithThisPicture

    Policies, like this, created and executed by the military are brilliant, simply brilliant – kick someone like Choi out and leave someone like Steve Green in – simply brilliant!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  30. Jim

    I've got some news for the "vets" and others here who claim to know that gays and lesbians serving openly would hurt morale. I've been on active duty just under 20 years now and I'm here to tell you that YOU'RE OUT OF TOUCH. Young folks in the military today have no problem with their gay and lesbian comrades. You older folks, from an older generation that had very different values, are the ones with the attitude problems. Today's young airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines have for the most part seen much more combat, deployments and operations than your generation ever did, and they STILL cannot understand why we have DADT. Why the difference? Personal attitudes. Young folks by and large accept people as they are - older folks, not so much.

    The reason - the ONLY reason - that we have DADT is to protect older folks (the generals and admirals of 15 years ago, specifically) from the shock of having to admit the fact that they've been serving with gay and lesbian individuals all along with no problems at all. To suddenly develop problems with those individuals after learning who they are would be to admit that the real problem lies with you. And that's just not something older folks are real good at....

    I, for one, do NOT appreciate those of you who presume that military folks today are bigoted and cannot accept gays and lesbians serving openly. People with that attitude on active duty today are few and far between. We're not like that - YOU are.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  31. TomG

    The 14th Amendment of the Constitution states: 'All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'

    Being gay is not against the law. Lt. Choi took an oath to 'support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; '

    There is no article in the Uniform Code of Military Justice that even addresses homosexuality. Rather, certain individuals choose to label homosexuality as 'conduct unbecoming' and use that as an excuse to remove someone from the military.

    The idea of 'don't ask, don't tell' is an insult, not only to the gay community but also to the military. Lt. Choi needs to be allowed the opportunity to serve.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  32. Marie

    I think people forget why this rule was inacted. It's for the protection of the gays. Yes, it is sad that we have not come so far as to rid people of homophobia, but the fact is it does exist and it is very rampant in the military. Allow these men and women to admit they are gay, and their military experience will be terrible! They will be ridiculed, have hate crimes committed against them and possibly killed. All the while it takes the spotlight away from what these men and women are really here for. The next thing you know the military will be involved in numerous lawsuits because of the treatment or violation of gays' rights. The last thing our military needs is a bunch of distractions during this critical time in our country. DONT ASK, DONT TELL, NO PROBLEMS!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  33. Chris

    Telling Lt. Choi that he should not have come out, and that he should stop whining and face the consequences of his coming out is like telling Rosa Parks that she should have just moved to a different bus seat, and to stop whining about getting arrested.

    The bottom line is that discrimination against gays has no rational basis, that thousands of them have served faithfully in the military simply by not letting the bigots know who they were, and that this discrimination, like any other is based on pure, simple hatred.

    See, it doesn't matter whether you hate blacks, gays, Jews, Armenians, or Star-Bellied Sneeches. Hate is hate. Hate is the problem. And I see it in many of the previous comments. You haters can blame gays all you want, but the problem is YOU.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  34. Bariz

    America Land of the Free?
    What a joke!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  35. John Smith

    Being against homosexuality does not make you a bigot. It is morally wrong, period. Homophobia refers to 'fear of'. No one is afraid of them, so the term is applied through ignorance of the speaker. Political correctness has been taken to the extremes of ludicrasy. It is Hollywood, the news media and homosexual groups who are trying to push this immoral agenda. You people are being willingly brain-washed into believing something, you inherently know is wrong, is now ok.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  36. Rick

    This man willfully knew he was going against a standing order in the military code of conduct, but he still lied and wasted all the money the US spent on him to educate him. He should be forced the repay all the money.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  37. Michael

    I served as a Marine. The last thing I want in my downtime is someone staring at me in the shower, or any other time for that matter. If don't ask don't tell is taken away, you're going to see a lot of fights occurring and then the UCMJ is going to become a mess based on the fights that will be happening regularly, where as previously they would have just been reported

    May 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  38. Steve

    How many servicemen or women are discharged, disciplined, etc, under the Code of Conduct rules for Adultery or Sodomy?

    The prosecution of gay men or women, I suspect, is disproportionately larger than any prosecutions for other "sexual" related crimes listed in the UCMJ. I suspect that for every shore leave, straight men head to bars and brothels, and sodomy occurs on a regular basis. However I doubt when one of those straight men, during the course of their next active duty workday, were to say that he had committed sodomy, that any officer would be rushing to file charges against him.

    In the end, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is discriminatory toward a minority population. Considering we fight around the world to bring democracy and to protect those less fortunate than we, why would we uphold such a policy?

    May 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  39. scott

    oh well, why even come dont have to even bring it up. just do your job during duty hours and be gay when your off duty. We should have a new branch of the military that only gays can serve.....just an idea

    May 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm |

    I'm am gay and not very surprised at the government for this incident. It just goes to show again no matter what your sexual orientation people are people and can chose to be strong productive members of society or not. Kudos to Lt. Choi for standing his ground and showing who he really is. Besides being a well accomplished member of the armed forces, he is a proud gay American and no matter what ridiculous rules our ridiculous politicians put in place let this show every young gay man and woman in America that nothing should stop you from showing who you really are, and not to worry about the reactions of others. My heart goes out to the friends and family of all the courageous gay service members lost over the years in the name of this country. What is it going to take for Barack and the other meat heads in Washington to show the people their lives weren't lost in vain and repeal the ridiculous Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. I mean who is Bill Clinton to judge what moral or professional dereliction is, I mean come on........

    May 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  41. John - Miami, FL

    The way I see it, this Lt. shouldn't be bickering about how he was ousted from the military. Department of Defense Form 4 (Enlistment into the Armed Forces Contract) clearly states the rules of signing such contract. Paragraph 9 clearly has guidelines set out. The Lt. was clear of this when he signed up. He knew that he could not serve openly while in the military. He violated this contract, therefore the military cut him loose. If you don't like to follow orders Lt. Choi, I don't want to risk my life with you on the battlefield. For those who are not familiar, there has been publicity about others not wanting to adhere to guidelines including Army Regulation 670-1 (Wear and Appearance of the Army Uniform.) Two Muslim soldiers wanted to grow full beards and wear turbans while in uniform. This is against Army policy so the Army told them to take it off or get out.

    It seems as though these officers coming in today think we owe them something. Show me some dedication and integrity, only then you will have my support. This issue isn't about what you have done (earned awards, deployments, etc.) This argument is about adhering to very specific military policy. Lt. Choi, you failed to do so. Thank you for your time and service, but since you can no longer live your life using the seven Army Values, LDRSHIP, then you can no longer lead my troops into battle.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  42. Anne Larsen

    Let's not repeat the same mistakes of the incompetent Bush administration, who fired almost all of its Arabic translators in the months leading up to 9/11. The reason? They were gay. Our nation's security is far more important than placating right wing bigots. Repeal Don't ask Don't tell NOW!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  43. Steaming in Pittsburgh

    Last I checked, no one's been thrown out of the military for admitting to be a heterosexual. While I can understand that a policy is in place and that the military is bound to follow it, it doesn't make the policy any less offensive. I'm a heterosexual and I don't shout it from the rooftops but I'd imagine it would be very difficult to hide your sexual orientation from people you are around on a daily basis. What if these individuals have a significant other – I guess gays aren't allowed to talk about them like heterosexuals do constantly. It's probably a constant effort on their parts to make sure they don't slip up and let out the truth. it's not like they just have to fill in a bubble "gay or straight" when they sign up and then they're allowed to say whatever they want. This is expecting them to keep their personal lives hushed up the whole time they're in service.

    It's my opinion (and I don't think Lt. Choi would argue here), that yes he knew of the policy and he broke it intentionally. You can call that dishonorable if you want but I don't think it is. It's along the same lines as civil disobedience. He broke the rules to bring attention to the fact that the rules are unfair. As far as active service men not wanting to be "checked out" in the shower, it's my opinion that every individual in the military should have privacy where that's concerned and not be left open to that kind of situation. Besides, it's a problem no one's ever going to be able to fix because as everyone well knows you can't necessarily tell if someone's gay or not unless they tell you so, the military, along with the dormitories and showers, will never be free of homosexuals – so I'm sorry but get over it. If any appropriate misconduct does occur, I'm sure any member of our armed forces has the ability to report it to their superiors.

    To Douglas from USA – Christians are opposed to homosexuality too but we don't throw them out of the country because there are some Christians here. I think it's a bit narrow-minded to assume that all Iraqis are against homosexuality too and last I checked, we never asked for their permission or their acceptance to send our troops over there. And comparing homosexuality to rape and murder is ridiculous and shows that you're just homophobic – rape and murder are not consentual and they're illegal in the United States whereas homosexuality is not illegal here, just apparently in our military. We expect professional behavior from all of our troops; yet no one can claim a woman has never gotten pregnant during service. Engaging in sexual behavior while deployed or on duty, whether homosexual or heterosexual, should result in a discharge from the army. If you're still opposed to repealing "Don't ask, don't tell" fine, but then we should throw people out for admitting they're heterosexuals too. At least we wouldn't be discriminating against only one group. That'll be fun, not having a military...

    May 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  44. Annette

    Lt. Choi is a trailblazer, educated, articulate and loves his country. It is no small feat to speak another language fluently, not to graduate from the academy at West Point. This situation causes me consternation. He should not be asked to leave the reserves because of his sexual orientation – whether one believes this is a choice or not is not relevant – he has served his country well and his skills are clearly in need.

    It is not okay to discriminate against less than 5% of the population "just because they are gay" – the socioeconomic makeup of the military is no excuse for discrimination.

    Every day, men and women, gay and straight are putting their lives on the line so that we citizens can sit back and comment on whatever we choose to speak about.

    Give Lt. Choi and others life liberty and the pursuit of happiness – rescind DADT now!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  45. Jason

    The military is not a social welfare program or a grand experiment. You are also not allowed to quit at a moments notice like every other job in the US. Once you enter you are legally compelled to stay. If I do not like the views, habits or orientation of the people I work with I can quit. A line sooldier can not quit and must live 24 hours a day with their fellow soldiers.
    The job of the US military is to defend our nation and it's interests. They do that by killing people and breaking things, not by being inclusive, open, and sufficiently liberal to make everyone on the coasts happy.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  46. cody

    The United States of America is so backward and behind Europe it's embarrassing. The Constitution of this country means absolutely nothing if gays are not given EVERY equal right and opportunity than straights – military service, marriage, adoption, whatever. You can dispute it all you want, but that's what it boils down to. Equality for every human being.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  47. kyle

    I'm also in the national guard... You have to shower, and live in very close quarters with people. Personally showering with someone who is openly gay is not only very uncomfortable... its disgusting. If gays want to be the military, they should shut up and keep it to themselves.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  48. Ed

    He knew the policy going in.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  49. KW

    The idea that members of the military are affected by the sexuality of anyone is ridiculous. I served with several people that didn't really hide the fact that they were gay and not one person cared. It didn't change the way we did our jobs or degrade anything. Anyone posting to the contrary is in a tiny minority.
    I believe that Lt. Choi 'came out' to protest a rule that has no basis in fact and only degrades the military that is already under great strain. The argument that he should have remained quiet because he knew the rule and what would happen, is repulsive. It is the duty of every member of the military to disobey an illegal order....I believe that this rule is unconstitutional therefore Lt Choi did the right thing.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  50. YallNeedToGetALife

    To: paul wisconsin

    ... and maybe the blacks should go back to being slaves, women sent back to the kitchen, and kids sent back to the sweat shops

    mainstream?? LMAO – what do you consider mainstream? – the country has become so diverse in the last 50 years – the old boys club died off years ago – of course, there are still a few left around, trying to get everyone to think and act like George Wallace – ain't happenin' buddy

    May 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  51. Ken in NC

    The man that made this comment was a real IDIOT but his statement was the one bright thing he did in his life. He said, "WHY CAN'T WE JUST ALL GET ALONG?"

    May 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  52. Ret Milt

    There are a lot of posts on both sides of the fence... as a recently retired member of the Armed Forces, maybe I can relay some facts for those who may just be posting on emotions...

    1) All members of the military are told & informed in writing of the Don't Ask/Don't Tell policy. If they fail to observe this policy or any other policy, they have to face the concequences associated with these actions... and the concequences are spelled out frequently.

    2) As a majority of the services being heterosexual (I am assuming) we do not put men & women in the same rooms or same showers due to the high potential for sexual harrassment that includes "googling" at them over what we may see as sexy... this too is a crime with consequences. Allowing homosexuals to serve openly, in my opinion and the opinion of many others I have spoke with over the years, would create a HUGE burden on the command by having to investigate (true or not) cases of sexual harrassment.

    3) Since homosexuality may be common place in many larger populated segments of society, it is still tabu in most all of rural America. Many of our recuits come from rural America and this could impact the already difficult recruiting tasks to allow even more questionable recruits to join the military to ensure enough end-stregth.

    4) Being in the military or any other occupation is not a right... Becoming a Dr requires certain moral & ethical standards have to be maintained their license to practice, drivers have to be sponsored to become a professional race car driver, just having money does not give you entry into the occupation, I have never heard of a male mid-wife... and they would probably not be able to earn a decent wage... although an educated and licensed OB Physician or NP is a different story. Life is full of disappointments for many in our society... Choose a profession that you can excel at and one that embraces you so you can embrace it... how successful is a man & women that marry and are "not right for eachother? Some one always comes away dissapointed and hurt...

    As a society and segment of society, Be Smart & Live Smart... don't place your bed in a viper's pit.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  53. Trish

    Americans voted for a black president. Americans are voting for a gay American Idol, who is in the top 3. Americans are progressing, into the future, at a rapid rate but our government is still backwards. It’s about time our government caught up with it’s citizens. It’s time to give equal rights to all Americans.

    America has a policy of separation of church and state but our government is so full of hate for gay people that they don’t follow their own policy.

    Gay people pay equal taxes to live in a country that doesn’t give them equal rights.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  54. Dave

    President Obama....I voted for you because you articulated your views on DADT and you said you would repeal it. It is, in your words, discrimination, and America does not support dicrimination. I'm sorry to have to say it, but if you don't repeal DADT soon, AND reinstate Lt. Choi, I cannot vote for you again. I just won't vote. This saddens me beyond belief. Why why why is it always okay to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation. President Obama, you are not unaware of the pain and heartache of discrimination, don't be the first black President of the US that sits by and allows its citizens to have their lives ruined by arbitrary standards.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  55. Michael

    It really is quite simple – there were rules in place and he chose to break them. He didn't just say it to his peers; he announced it on public television (prior to the current interview). The military has other rules about public conduct and protesting for a cause while in uniform – not tolerated. When you sign up, you knowingly and willingly give up some of your personal rights, like the right to protest and in some cases free speech.

    While I respect his opinion and his commitments, I am disheartened that he couldn't follow simple rules that he knowingly signed up for. I served in the military and have no doubt that I served alongside gay soldiers, however, they knew enough to follow the rules and serve their country – not serve their own needs and try to be poster boards.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  56. Human Being

    It troubles me as a human being (yes...someone who breathes, eats, sleeps, is getting an education, has innate sexual desires, etc.) that there are such ignorant people. To claim that homosexuals should be allowed to serve, with the caveat of separate dorms and shower is short-sided. It is pretty self-centered to think that you are constantly being checked out by the same sex. To say that the 'gays' are pushing their lifestyle on others is ludicrous. All they are asking for is to be treated like any human being should be treated–with respect.

    There is no need to have a "Dont Ask Dont Tell". Perhaps taking a more in-depth look at several European countries and their policies for homosexuals in the military needs to be front and center. How is it that they have functional militaries, with no issue around sexual orientation?

    Come on people, respect other people. Simple as that.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  57. rob

    The policy is "don't ask, don't tell." By coming out to them in this way, he threw it in the his units face with a exclamation point. I personally believe live and let live. However, many find his lifestyle disgusting and immoral. This can break down unit cohesion, especially when it's an officer. If this them a bigot, then it makes you one also...

    May 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  58. ljack

    Well I hate to say it but I’m am gay, I’m a physician, I don’t openly display my sexuality and don’t feel the need to tell people, but I also don’t deny it. I think it’s despicable for Lt. Choi to be discharged but in all fairness the policy sucks he knew it before he joined. I have not joined nor will I join to serve this country in the military for that exact reason. There are many other ways to serve where I will be welcomed and where how I live my personal life is not an issue. My suggestion is that all gay and lesbians stop joining until the policy is changed and if it never is then it’s there loss not yours. And for the record I too am extremely disappointed with Obama in this regard.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  59. Brian

    How can they claim "homosexual conduct"? Dd they catch him in a sexual act? Did they have cameras on his bed? There's s huge difference between being gay and doing something sexual. Just having the feeling doesn't constitute "homosexual conduct".

    May 8, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  60. John

    Believe it or not there is a reason behind the DODT policy, it’s just a matter whether or not people chose to believe it.

    The objective of our military is to fight and win the nations wars. How do they do that? They do that by deploying. When these units are deployed the service members are in very close living quarters (if you chose to call it that) and at times deployed for a year or even longer. This type of living condition will make people feel very awkward and uncomfortable. Why should the individuals who are uncomfortable with this have to live in a situation like that especially when things are already stressed (such as deployments to Iraq)? Its one thing to be tolerant of gays and lesbians but it’s a totally different situation when you to have live with them 24/7. It doesn’t seem like anyone here really cares about how the people who will have to live with them feel.

    It states that 12,500 people have been chaptered from the military from the DODT policy. It really makes me wonder what the particular situations were. We had a guy in one of my old units that wasn’t “openly gay” but he would try to lure drunk troops (guys) into his room and then attempt to rape them. What I’m saying here is that in some way, shape, or form these individuals violated the policy. Did they just come out and say “hey, I’m gay” or was there a situation like the one stated above the occurred?

    May 8, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  61. Steve

    Hmm, like our country, the military is based upon a foundation that is based upon biblical beliefs. Homosexuals will not enter heaven. Homosexuality is condemmed by God, and thus our "One nation, under God". So I'm appauled by everyone saying that this is wrong... YOU are wrong, the Creator and one true Judge will let you know when you kneel before him as he condems you to an eternity in Hell. Sorry to say...

    May 8, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  62. John

    I am not sure how I would feel having to be in a state of undress with openly gay men. I know that as a Father I would not want my daughters to be undressed in the mens barracks. I would have no problem serving side by side with gay men and have a number of gay friends.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  63. doesitmatter

    As a former Marine, I am against them serving in the military. I have personally seen how homosexual behaviour has adversely affected morale. For those who have never served, its easy to force your idiocy on someone else. For those of you who have and not seen it, then you are blind. I saw one serviceman being confronted by another one who was larger trying to get him to give him a bj very aggressively. If he was kidding around, I couldn't tell. He was not reported by the serviceman or anyone else who saw it. If I had it do all over again and witnessed the same thing, I would have gotten his butt kicked out. This was not an isolated case. If I can't take showers with the women, why in the world would it be permitted for a homosexual to take a shower with me????? You people have no clue what you are talking about. BTW: Obama is the worst thing to ever happen to this country.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  64. Brian

    Most other G8 nations have gays in the military and they do quite well. Even Israel allows homosexuals to serve.

    These strange rules only help your enemies.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  65. Nick

    I think the policy definitely needs to be reviewed, but I also believe there are situations that having an openly homosexual individual in a unit could cause others in the unit to not perform to their best. And in the military, that gets people killed – our people. Which I think we need to avoid if at all possible.

    Do I have a solution? No – this is more complex an issue than I can give a suggested fix for. But to complain about the discharge, when you know what the policy is, is ridiculous!

    This is like getting a speeding ticket, and then complaining, "But the limit should be higher." While that may well be true, it isn't the state of things right now. If you want to work outside the system, you have to be prepared to take your lumps. No Equal Rights protesters got busted, right???

    May 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  66. Steve

    He knew the rules regarding the don't ask/don't tell policy and he chose to disregard them. Disregarding the rules and regulations in the military is in and of itself grounds for dismissal. Let alone the fact that he's gay. I don't feel sorry for him. He broke the rules and now he's paying the price and because the price has been costly, he runs to CNN and politicizes the dismissal.

    And why would anyone go around in their work place advertising their sexuality? It's nobody's business and it's totally inappropriate to be discussing your sexuality in public or the workplace....period.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  67. mark

    Rules are rules. If you knew going in that you might one day be kicked out becuase of being gay or any other violation you make a CHOICE to pursue, then quit complaining. Our military is strife with homosexual members and they CHOOSE not to openly state there sexuality knowing that they will be kicked out. Yes, many homosexual men and women would make great members of our military but we have rules. If you would like to get those changed then lobby the ones who can make changes. Don't try to break the rules and then complain about it. Please remember, he made a CHOICE as a human being to join the military as a gay man knowing that he was in violiation of regulations if he were to announce his sexuality. HE MADE A CHOICE!

    May 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  68. Adam73

    I understand the consternation and upset this has caused. However, it seems many of you do not attempt to understand the issue from a non-homosexual military stand point. I served in the Army and Army Reserve for 8 years.
    For the most part, privacy is nill. You shower together, dress together, sleep within inches of each other, etc. How would you ladies like it if you were given a large shower bay, with no dividers, and told that straight men would be showering with you? You are not allowed your own private facilities, you have to share it with them. So they can sit there and stare at you while you lather up.
    This is a form of sexual harrassment. It's no different for a shower bay full of straight men, with gay men thrown in. I shouldn't have to feel like I'm being oggled while taking a shower.
    There is no difference between the quality of gay or straight soldiers. The issue is that there is not adequate infrastructure to separate them and give the basic right of privacy from the "opposite sex", or in this case, from the opposite sexual orientation.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  69. Greg

    JV....You don't know what your talking about. And guess what they said the same thing about Black People serving in the Military. Get a clue.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  70. William ONeill

    I served in the U.S. Air Force from 1994 to 1998. It was very difficult to serve my country because of our military’s discrimination policies. Hiding my sexuality was unfair, because anyone who was straight did not have to hide their’s. For this to be happening in 2009 is a major embarrassment for our country. It is just another way that the concept of freedom is held back. Today we see other countries surpassing the United States in our dream for a sound democracy, where everyone is equal under the law. I can assure you there are a significant number of gay service members serving our country. Other nations have openly gay service members. Their militaries have grown stronger with this policy because they become more united. There are a lot of selfish people living in this country that say they believe in freedom, but try to horde it for themselves. If we don't change our way of being, more Americans will turn to other forms of government. How sad would be.

    William O'Neill
    Cambridge, MA

    May 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  71. Matt

    Roz. We iron our own uniforms. J/k.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  72. Jeff

    discrimination at its finest. no different then race, sex, religious preference, and all that other good stuff that companies and such cannot legally look at when considering employment. even tho they always do

    May 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  73. Al

    Do not blame the military. It is the politicians that make policy, not the military. I was active duty for 21 years and knew countless gay men and women. Change the policy. To "mytoys" we are not bigots, we uphold policy made by civilians. Maybe your elected officials are the bigots.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  74. Active Duty

    Hey, I got a mind bender for you: the gay and lesbian life is contrary to the laws of nature. No god in the equation, no politics in the equation, no opinion in the equation, just nature. You are by nature incorrect.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  75. Boston Guy

    It's really a shame. For the people who are glad that gays are fired from the military.....why don't you get your sissy behinds over to Iraq. Personally, anyone who would put themselves in combat zones are the true men and women heros, no mater if you're gay or straight.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  76. R

    The problem is if you get beat up under don't ask don't tell it's not a hate crime. Why would you get beat up? Clearly you've not been in the military service. There were openly gay men in our squad, they were shunned, and it made group showers very uncomfortable. Modest women do not want to shower with men, why would it be any different for a man to shower with another man who loves men? The guy i mention would stand naked against the wall and watch us shower. Because he didn't come out we couldn't get rid of him, but he ended up getting the crap knocked out of him by another guy. Under any other circumstances this would have been a hate crime instead of a pervert getting what he had coming whether he was gay or not gay. I say keep the don't ask don't tell it serves a purpose. You might as well pass something in the code of conduct that having sex in any other position than missionary is acceptable and allow blow-jobs. The code of conduct is for all behavior is very relaxed. Unless you have pictures, talk about it to other military persons, or something stupid like that you're fine. This soldier did something he shouldn't have, and went against policy. Some things are out of principal and this was one he should have upheld.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  77. jr

    Thank god he's out. First it was no gays in the military, then we allowed the "don't ask, don't tell". Now they want more. Give them an inch and they'll try to take a yard. Being a veteran myself, I personally do not want to be showering and living in a foxhole with a homosexual, just as men and women shouldn't be showering and put in awkward situations as well. This gives way too much opportunity for indiscretion and threatens the mental and moral discipline of our armed forces.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  78. Joe, San Diego

    Professional Life vs Personal Life miss manners 101.
    Know the job you are applying for otherwise do not be disappointed if you are fired because you don't abide by the institutions rules and regulations.
    DON'T ASK(no one will ask)
    DON'T TELL(no one tells, not even you)
    DON'T PURSUE(no one will investigate)
    DON'T HARASS(no one will ridicule you...)
    Every six months military personnel have GMT(General Military Training) and homosexuality, fraternization is included. Obviously the service members that TELL did not follow the DADT rules.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  79. morgan

    I served in the military. During time of war.
    There were a few gay men there.
    They were able to do their job with reasonable efficiency.
    But they were a distraction to the straight soldiers.
    The men who don't want to be approached by the gay soldiers can develop a negative attitude toward the gays.
    That is not how to build camaraderie or morale.

    Let's look at the process of signing up.
    It is made clear the military does not approve of gays in the service.
    The don't ask don't tell is widely publicized.
    Therefore it is dishonorable for a gay to sign up for service.
    They are telling a lie from the start.
    In some instances they are joining the military to find other gay men.
    It made some of my friends most uncomfortable to know that "Johnny" was checking them out in the shower room.

    If gays have to lie to enter service they should have no surprise at being rejected if they "come out of the closet."
    The only choices are to eliminate the ruling in a democratic way or for gays to stop lying in order to enter service.

    I have a gay cousin who I watched grow up. He is a good, kind person. Intelligent, hard working, and cleaner than a lot of men I know. As a family member I care very much for him. And woe be unto anyone who harms my cousin. But, if my cousin entered the military and got booted out, I would not defend him for lying to get in.

    Bottom line, change the law, or honor it.
    After all that is what the military is all about. Truth, honor, and respect.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  80. Matt

    And don't call us backwards or ignorant. We volunteer to serve so the vast majority of you can sit i front of your tvs eating chips and complain about things you don't understand or care to. Its convienent to write these blogs but not one of you would stand up and say this in public. Admit it. The law is wrong but it is a law that was approved by Congress, signed by the President and upheld in the Supremem Court. Every single person that apporvoed it was put into office by voters, not the military. If you don't agree with it then pay attention when you vote or stand up and say somehting. Don't belittle the fact that we serve honorable and fight for your freedoms. We willingly give up our rights so you don't have to.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  81. Zach in Chicago

    This is very disheartening to me and definitely hits close to home. I served in the Navy as an Intelligence Specialist, and was discharged for the very same reason. I was never reprimanded, always did my job well, and moved up faster in rank than anyone else in my division, yet because I'm gay I apparently am not fit to serve. The sad thing is most civilians are very ignorant and don't even know that you can be discharged for being openly gay. There was a poll taken while I was in and over 70% of military personnel that are aware of a gay service member in their unit simply did not care. Look at the U.K., Russia, Israel, Australia, etc. we are the last major industrialized nation in the world to not let openly gay people into the military. It all boils down to this, do you really think that gay people join to engage in promiscuous activity? Do you think that by people being gay that they are automatically incapable of doing their job? Oh yea and one more thing last year more convicted felons, people convicted of committing aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, and vehicular homicide were accepted into the military than ever before. This isn't about the "gay agenda" this is about the right to serve and fight for our country.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  82. Aaron M

    I keep hearing over and over about this "gay agenda" - someone's going to have to fill me in on this one. I've been a proud, out, gay man for 13 years now, and I'm seriously clueless - no one told me at the meetings, no one sent me that month's newsletter, etc.

    Get over yourselves, folks! Sexual orientation is NOT a choice - no one chooses to be ridiculed in middle school, no one chooses to hate themselves for who they are, and no one deserves the treatment that Lt. Choi has endured for, when they day is over, serving their country.

    You wouldn't kick someone out of the Armed Forces for being a woman or being black (also something you can't control), so why a GLBT individual. I would have LOVED to do what Lt. Choi has done, but I stayed out of the services b/c of the very same reason.

    Stop the bigotry – stop the hate – end DADT immediately!

    May 8, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  83. pAT ~ USAF C-130 PILOT

    Racy, You really seem to have some emotional issues. Calm down. Obama is POTUS, your Neo-cons are in total disgrace and gone. Scoreboard baby! From your diatribe it is obvious you have no clue what it takes to be a man! WAW WAW WAW.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  84. Justin

    I think most military servicemembers are ambivalent towards the presence of homosexuals in their units. In my opinion, as a ten-year veteran in the Army who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, as long as you can run, ruck, and fight, I don't care what you do with your private life.

    Ultimately, though, the most important thing to the military is the ability to successfully accomplish its mission; there are few individual rights important enough to outweigh that obligation. But I think, generally speaking, the bulk of military servicemembers are open-minded and intelligent enough that the presence of homosexuals, bisexuals, etc, would not disrupt the unit just on its own. The problem that might come up–and that already exists in co-ed units–is when relationships affect missions. But that's no reason to bar entry to the military; it's an issue for the unit's leadership to handle, no matter what the sexual orientations of the persons involved.

    All that said, it's worth noting that it's not the "military's" ban. The restriction is mandated by the United States Congress, by way of 10 U.S.C. 654. It's not a DA policy, nor a DoD directive. It's a law passed by Congress and signed by the President and upheld by the United States Supreme Court. President Obama can't simply wipe it away with the stroke of a pen–it will require legislative action as well. It can be done, but it's not as easy as some of these posts seem to indicate.

    Finally, I think this lieutenant deserves what he got or will get. You do NOT, as a military professional, try to effect political change like that. He knew what the law was, and what the repercussions would be, so to act surprised is insulting to a profession charged with defending those laws. If he wants to fall on his sword, though, and make a statement in doing so, then he can have at it (and more power to him)–but he should not be surprised by what he's forced to pay. The heart of civil disobedience is taking the punishment to draw attention to the failure of the law. Thoreau's wrote his essay because he did not feel he should pay taxes to support a war he did not believe in, or slavery; but Thoreau went to jail in support of his beliefs.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  85. Dexter

    The day will come when the military will beg for recruits gay or straight. The military is simply flaunting their bigotry. Women serve our country, blacks serve our country and gays have been serving for years and you cant tell me there commanding officers didn't know. The age of DADT is gone and our country will eventually say "what was all the fuss about?". We are all citizens of our country and have the right to serve. We should be thankful for our volunteer servicemen whatever their sexual orientation. We no longer live in a world where we fight battles soley on the battlefield. Bravery now comes in the colors of the rainbow...

    May 8, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  86. adam

    i extremely disagree with the don't ask don't tell policy. for one the military is wasting a lot of the soldiers in skills and then lose them when they come out. i think i read some place that when they are kicked out of the military the CIA or FBI often contacts them if they are a linguistics specialist to work for them

    May 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  87. Active Duty For Rea'

    Dear Active Duty:

    Maybe you should visit the website that is your namesake to see what the world thinks of your "Active Duty" soldiers.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  88. DJ

    Umm, I am sorry, if he wants to serve let him serve with the women.

    Why does a person who likes men get to be around them all the time. Share showers and barracks??? How uncomfortable do you think it makes those other men feel??

    Do straight men get to bunk with 40 women and take showers with them also??

    May 8, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  89. Bill

    Why did he feel the need to "come out" in a way such as he did? I'm heterosexual, I don't join a heterosexual group to make sure everyone is aware that I'm heterosexual. Honestly, I don't care if someone is homosexual or heterosexual, but constantly having to proclaim your homosexual is a little strange. I don't have conversations that refer to my sexuality, pro or con, so why do homosexuals feel the need to do so? If you're truly comfortable with who you are, you don't require validation or recognition from other people. You can be happy with yourself regardless. Stop forcing yourselves into victim status and then crying about it.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  90. kerry

    He knew the policy when he and his fellow Knights decided to come out of the closet. It appears he had a political agenda or wanted to challenge the Army. Too bad for him that the Army does not work that way. The policy will stand and be enforced until it is rescinded. The president could do it but he has it. He should be happy he is out since the Iraqis are targeting their own gays. What would they do if they got an American homosexual.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  91. Roz

    I'm gay. I agree with the decision to fire him because he broke the rules. In order to lead you must follow the rules.
    That said... this rule absolutely must be repealed. It's stupid to think that what someone likes in bed affects their ability to shoot a gun. What exactly are they doing out there that makes it more likely for a gay person to ruin the military?
    For those of you who say you do not "flaunt" your sexuality. Try going through your day without looking at or speaking about the person you love or are sexually attracted to. Try having to sit through everybody else's conversation about how their husband or wife does this or that for them, anything from she helps me tie my tie to I love when we cuddle on the couch. When you are gay in the military, DADT means you can't say ANYTHING. It's not about being able to sexually harass your fellow soldiers. How about not being sexually harassed yourself by other hetero soldiers trying to hit on you because they think you are straight? You don't like it when gay people hit on you. Here' s a clue... we don't like being hit on by you either.
    DADT flies in the face of the military honor code. It forces people to come up with elaborate lies about the simplest day to day events in their lives. If you are in the military with a closeted soldier, you are living with a liar. If they can't tell the truth about who ironed their uniform, then what else could they be lying about?

    May 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  92. Matt

    Meant it doesn;t bother me what you do in your spare time. But again if you've never been in that culture and been a part of something liek the Army then don't cry equal rights. When you sign on that dotted line you give up your rights. He knew it and disobeyed his order. I know he's probably a good guy but these things are black and white. Maybe in the future things will change but without rules and regulations being upheld to the highest standards you have nothing. Ask yourself why we have the greatest Army, the best Marines, the strongest Navy or the best Air Force. It is b/c we have put order and regulations that follow very strictly. It may be wrong but don't criticize unless you've been there.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  93. JV

    "I appreciate the military for adhereing to strict moral standards. The military is 100 percent oposite of the civilian world and unless you are part of it you don’t and won’t understand that way of life. Homosexuality would be a downgrading of a higher standard of living."

    The military is a small sample of the general population. We have druggies and men who beat their wives and kids in here too... Or the people who steal from the military or pull off other fraudulent activities. I think someone's sexual orientation is not a concern of us.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  94. Greg

    Is is time for the 30000 or so service members now serving in the armed forces to come out and be dischared, what whould the military do then? Its horrible that people are being discharged from the military because of who they are and love. Also to Suc My have no idea what your talking about. Straight people don't have to admit they are straight because they are. Gay people can't admit they are gay or they will be dischared. See the difference..

    May 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  95. Ali

    Rrrgh, this is so stupid. But you know what's almost worse to me? About 1 in 10 comments on this story SUPPORT the decision to kick this dedicated soldier out, just because he revealed something that he shouldn't have to hide. Explain to me exactly how who he's attracted to affects how disciplined or qualified he is. Yes, following orders is important when you're in the military, but this is a part of who he is and they're asking him to lie about it. Because what, someone might feel uncomfortable? What about the racists that still exist, maybe they feel uncomfortable having a black person in their unit. Should that person be fired too? We really do have a long way to go...

    May 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  96. Active Duty

    The gay and lesbian life is contrary to the laws of nature. No god in the equation, no politics in the equation, no opinion in the equation, just nature. You are by nature incorrect.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  97. Mark

    Funny how people that have never served in the military can be so quick to judge them. You have no idea what we have to deal with. In the Navy, you sleep in compartments that can have up to 150 men or women living in them. I could careless if someone is gay. But think about this, if you know someone is gay and they look at you while you are changing, what runs through your mind? Is he checking me out? Yes, we are a prudish people and because we have this hang-up about sex and the naked body, things will never change.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  98. Lucas

    This story just reminds us all how ridiculous the America can be. In any other circumstances we would all be commending this guy as a 'patriot/hero/angel' and any other cliche we could think of. But he's gay, so he deserves to be barred from helping defend this country and his fellow soldiers and fired from his job in a recession. Crazy stuff.

    Wisconsin Paul, it's funny how you mentioned gays and getting things rammed down your throat in the same post. That's homosexual behavior and you should be fired from your job. (Just trying to make a point).

    May 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  99. Bird

    Homosexuals have no place in the military and definitely no place around NORMAL heterosexuals. they need to go find a country of their own to "come out" and stay there. Don't continue to poison life as it should be. You people are just WRONG and don't need to be in society. You're just like lepers and need to be segregated from the rest of the world. I don't want you protecting my country.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  100. Christine

    What is with everybody in this country? Why is it now okay to be gay and throw it in everybody's face? I'm GLAD the military fired that guy, he knew the rules but slapped the military in the face by choosing to disregard it, and now he's crying? A TRUE soldier follows orders and the rules, and is proud to serve by showing the utmost respect for his country and the military rules he/she has chosen to protect, not wag his thing in front of the cameras and shout out about where he chooses to put it.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
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