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‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Civil Disobedience at the White House

I’m not there, but Twitterborne images of openly gay Lt. Dan Choi, a New York National Guardsman, show him and a comrade leading a group of activists to the White House gates in protest of the military’s ban on open gay service. Joe Sudbay of AmericaBlog, who’s on scene, tweets that Choi handcuffed himself to the gates and led the crowd in the pledge of allegiance.

Across town, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) held yet another hearing on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” this one featuring the accounts of two young officers who, like Choi, were forced out of the military for their sexual orientation despite their sterling military records. Levin commented:

Cases like these make it clear to me why we should repeal this discriminatory policy. I did not find the arguments used to justify Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell convincing when it took effect in 1993, and they are less so now, as made evident by the experiences of Mr. Almy and Ms. Kopfstein. What matters is a willingness and ability to perform the mission – not an individual’s sexual orientation.

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