DADT opponent, gay soldier Dan Choi discharged from Army

Thu. July 22, 2010 3:43 PM by

Army Lt. Dan Choi said Thursday that the military has discharged him for announcing that he is gay.

"I have been discharged under DADT," Choi tweeted to his thousands of followers. "Our fight is just beginning."

Choi is one of the most outspoken opponents of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the military policy that threatens gay troops with discharge if they do not remain celibate and closeted.

Choi broke the policy when he appeared more than a year ago on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show to promote Knights Out, the nascent West Point graduate group that lobbies for repeal of the policy. On the show, he announced that he is gay.

A formal discharge arrived by mail on May 6. In his discharge notification, the Army said Choi was being discharged for "moral or professional dereliction."

"Specifically, you admitted publicly that you are a homosexual, which constitutes homosexual conduct," the notification said.

Choi appealed the decision even as he took on greater visibility in the fight against the policy, getting arrested twice for chaining himself to the White House fence in protest. Charges of failing to obey a police officer were later dropped.

But on Thursday, Choi confirmed to Newsweek that had been discharged: "I got a call about five minutes ago, and my commander said he wanted me to hear it directly from him."

Choi was arrested Wednesday in Las Vegas protesting Nevada Senator Harry Reid's inaction on passage of gay workplace protections bill ENDA.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine