Governor defends gay officer in New York Army National Guard
Posted on May 15, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
Governor David Paterson lambasted the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on Thursday and defended a gay New York National Guardsman who’s facing dismissal for violating it.
First Lt. Daniel Choi, 28, of New York City, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2003 and served as an Arabic interpreter in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. In March, he joined a West Point alumni group called Knights Out and identified himself as a gay officer.
Military policy forbids homosexual service members from disclosing their sexual orientation. Choi received a discharge notice from the Army last week.
Paterson, who recently introduced a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, spoke out Thursday on Choi’s behalf:
“What public interest does it serve for this veteran who risked his life in Iraq to be discharged from the military for exercising the democratic rights that he defended overseas?” he said. “This case is more proof that this policy needs to be changed.”
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