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Gay soldiers remain in custody after White House stunt

PinkNews Staff Writer March 19, 2010
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Two gay soldiers who chained themselves to the White House fence remain in custody today.

Lt Dan Choi and Captain Jim Pietrangelo interrupted a sedate march against the military gay ban in Washington DC yesterday for the act of civil disobedience.

They were arrested and are expected to appear in court this afternoon. Campaign group GetEqual said they have been charged with failure to obey a lawful order

Lt Choi is one of the best-known faces of the campaign against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He was recommended for discharge last year after announcing he was gay on television.

His discharge is still pending but he recently returned to his New York Army National Guard unit after being invited back by his superiors.

Captain Pietrangelo, now a lawyer, was discharged for being gay in 2004.

The original rally at Freedom Plaza was organised by Human Rights Campaign and comedian Kathy Griffin, who was filming events for her show.

Lt Choi interrupted the rally to urge people to follow him to the White House.

Reports said he expected to be arrested, as he had written the phone number of someone to pay his bail money on his arm.

But he is not thought to have contacted anyone outside the jail.

US soldiers are barred from protesting in uniform.

Robin McGehee, from Get Equal and the co-organiser of the National Equality March, was released shortly after being arrested.

Photo: Flick user Bullneck

Related topics: Americas

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