Dan Choi, a former lieutenant in the New York Army National Guard, was due to appear at military court this morning at 8am to face charges for violating the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy regarding gay service men and women’s requirement to keep their sexuality a secret.
The 28-year-old infantry platoon leader defied the military gay ban by coming out live on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow TV show.
Soon after, the army made plans to fire him, saying he had “negatively affected good order and discipline in the New York Army National Guard.”
Capturing people’s attention worldwide for his public declaration, Choi continues to generate headlines, putting himself at the forefront of a movement aimed at freeing military personnel from the burden of keeping their sexual orientation secret for fear of losing their jobs.
Choi is a co-founder of Knights Out, a support group comprising graduates from the US Military Academy of West Point.
The organisation’s mission is both to lobby for the rights of LGBT soldiers to openly serve their country, and to educate West Point’s future military leaders about the need to accept its lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans troops.
Thousands of people have signed an online letter posted by the Courage Campaign to show support for Choi which he planned to hand in at court this morning.