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US: Trial of gay former soldier who chained himself to the White House fence resumes

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  1. Honestly, I don’t see a problem with prosecuting him. I’m gay. I support gay equality. I also support laws protecting the President, and those laws also include protecting the residence of the President. In the post-9/11 world activists have to think of new ways to protest and make their voices heard. Hypothetically, if it had been a would-be suicide bomber who handcuffed himself to the fence, would you be angry at his prosecution? I doubt it. Yet you want to treat Choi as though he’s a hero for violating the same laws! Ridiculous.

    1. The moment you sacrifice security for freedom you’ve lost everything.

      1. You know? So got that the wrong way round, lol.

        The moment you sacrifice freedom for security you’ve lost everything.

        Choi stood his ground and protested an unfair law. He did fall to pressure, he carried on. He won, and his victory is a victory for everyone. Sounds like a hero to me.

    2. Big difference between someone wanting to kill themselves and others with a bomb and this guy. He is guilty of willfully attaching himself to that fence however.

      1. In a free country why is that a crime?

        1. In a free country that is a crime since it violates the laws of protecting the President. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld even the most inane laws written to protect the President. Since he is the ‘leader of the free world’ his protection is held inviolable and of utmost importance. The only laws about protecting the President that have ever been struck down have been laws that prohibit saying anything bad or unkind about the President while the US is at war. That is considered to violate the First Amendment, and as such take precedence.

          And Keith, you’re right. There’s a big difference from being a would-be bomber and a protestor. However, the law is blind and it is not only his intent but his actions that are being prosecuted. He wilfully violated a homeland security law designed to protect the White House and her occupants. A protestor and a would-be bomber will be held accountable by the same law, even if they didn’t kill anyone.

          1. Sorry Teddy, I think you’re missing the point I’m making.

            Choi was protesting against something that has since been deemed unconstitutional (unlawful) in a way designed to get the attention of people. He put no one at risk with his protest, he harmed no one with it. His intent was not to kill/maim/blow-up anything.

            Did he break the law? Yes. Oddly enough, not for the first time. He’d already broken DADT by coming out on national TV whilst serving in the US Armed Forces. However, I do not see you saying he should be punished for that, or that he was wrong for that.

            DADT was put in place to as a security measure (apparently). How is breaking that law less a crime than the other?

            This was the only way to hammer the point home, and to get the point across to people that DADT was wrong.

            Will he be punished for it? Sadly yes. The fear culture in the USA is such that security is valued above freedom. So yes, I can see him being found guilty and vilified.

  2. Garry Cassell 28 Mar 2013, 3:06pm

    Nothing to do with violating any laws…Time for government to stop wasting taxpayers money over such silly biggoted hateful , religious right fairytales…Gay marriages will happen for ALL of the USA and NOTHING will stop it….So it’s time to stop the sham and save money….

    1. I don’t recall Dan Choi’s argument being for gay marriage (which I support), rather it was to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which barred soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines from discussing their sexuality. That has nothing to do with marriage. Quit conflating the two arguments. Sorry, let me say it in simpler words for you, since I’m sure conflating is too hard to understand. Quit trying to make the two arguments the same. They’re different arguments, and should remain as such. As a lawyer, I can tell you that no judge would ever allow you to combine the two arguments like that. You’d be smacked down faster than a pimp beats ‘his’ whore!

      As for not violating the law? That’s exactly why he’s being prosecuted! Maybe you should pull your head out and breath some oxygen before you get all worked up about something you clearly don’t understand!

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Mar 2013, 3:49pm

        But not one Wall Street banker has gone to jail since the foreclosure debacle for some of the worst crimes in the financial history of the U.S.that almost brought down the global financial markets since the Depression and none convicted in a court of law while this young man faces jail for protesting a discriminatory policy? There is something intrinsically wrong with that picture in my view.

        1. Amein Robert. I think the bankers who violated the people’s trust and caused the economy to crumble and take hard working people down with it should be prosecuted as well. The law should be applied to everyone, not just the middle and lower classes. Money should not preclude someone from being prosecuted.

  3. I can’t help think about how hypocritical we as humans are. When it comes to people protesting for what we too believe in, we demand mercy and freedom from the courts if that person is arrested. However, if it’s someone we don’t agree with, we say prosecute them to the fullest!

    I believe in gay rights and full equality. I just don’t think we need to break the law to get our way. If one law is so easily cast aside for an argument, what stops us, or society in general, from casting every law aside?

    1. David Myers 29 Mar 2013, 6:48am

      It is legitimate for them to prosecute him, if they can prove he violated a law, but it would also be extremely legitimate also, if he were convicted, for the presiding judge to consider “extenuating circumstances” – that he was protesting an (unconstitutional, in my opinion) military “law” that has since been repealed and that his act was therefore a political act that did indeed help bring about the change in political attitude that led to the repeal of the law and was therefore a form of freedom of speech. Furthermore it was an act, although it may well have been illegal, was a crime without a victim. The judge could then order a suspended sentence.

  4. Let me try this again, since PN says I posted this already, but I don’t see it in the comments:

    I can’t help think about how hypocritical we as humans are. When it comes to people protesting for what we too believe in, we demand mercy and freedom from the courts if that person is arrested. However, if it’s someone we don’t agree with, we say prosecute them to the fullest!

    I believe in gay rights and full equality. I just don’t think we need to break the law to get our way. If one law is so easily cast aside for an argument, what stops us, or society in general, from casting every law aside?

    1. On the other hand 28 Mar 2013, 4:15pm

      He’s being sued for breach of contract, not breaking the law, according to the article.

  5. On the other hand 28 Mar 2013, 4:12pm

    It’d be useful if the article told us the basis of the governments claim to be able to bill him for “not fulfilling his military contract”. Was this because he came out, in breech of don’t ask don’t tell, or was there some other alleged breech of contract?

    Anyway, it should have been dropped long ago, and that should have given him another medal to go with the ones he already has.

    1. David Waite 28 Mar 2013, 5:18pm

      Two things: First, the charge of breech of contract is specifically over Lt. Dan Choi’s voluntary outing of himself. Choi isn’t the only servicemember who has been ordered to pay back money because of a voluntary disclosure. AFAIK he is the only ex-servicemember to refuse to pay.

      Second, if PN gave its readers the exhaustive and easily searched for background details of every story they report on, the articles would be three times as long and boring. While PN turning itself into Wikipedia might be useful for the lazy reader, I believe most of us would seek a more journalistic news source for stories where most of us readers are already familiar with the back story and legal underpinnings.

  6. Neon Genesis 29 Mar 2013, 1:45am

    Pink News has links to past articles on the stories they report all the time to provide proper context. If they can turn their site into Wikipedia when they report on Paris Hilton, surely they can do the same for Dan Choi.

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