Will gay lt. colonel be saved by policy review? AirForceTimes.com
Posted on July 4, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
A gay Air Force officer is hoping his 18-year career will be saved by a review of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy ordered by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, an F-15E Strike Eagle weapons systems officer, is facing separation after a civilian acquaintance outed him to the Air Force more than a year ago.
After a months-long investigation, Fehrenbach is facing an honorable discharge for violating the ban on homosexual behavior and damaging the good order and discipline of the Air Force.
The review, conducted by the department’s General Counsel’s office, will determine whether there is “flexibility” in how the law is applied, Gates told reporters June 30.
Specifically, Gates cited service members outed by someone else.
“Do we need to be driven when the information to take action on somebody, if we get that information from somebody who may have vengeance in mind or blackmail or somebody who has been jilted,” Gates said.
Today’s regulations require commanders to investigate allegations brought by anyone. Once a commander determines that a service member is gay, there is little legal leeway in stopping the discharge process.
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