Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Making a (West) Point
Nearly 40 West Point graduates have come out and formed a group called Knights Out to protest antigay military policies like Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
The Navy Times reports on this interesting development.
"We’re publicly announcing our sexuality, our orientation,' said 1st Lt. Dan Choi, a National Guardsman with the 1st Bn., 69th Infantry, based in Manhattan. 'It’s just one part of who we are in saying that we are standing to be counted.' In forming Knights Out, its 38 members are following the example of similar support and education groups formed by graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy, known respectively as USNA Out and Blue Alliance. Most if not all of these groups’ members also belong to the Service Academy Gay and Lesbian Alumni social network, a group that Knights Out claims includes some active-duty commanders serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Choi, a Korean by descent, is a combat veteran of Iraq who graduated from West Point in 2003 with a degree in Arabic language. He said his unit is aware that he’s a homosexual and added, 'I’m very comfortable with all the repercussions right now. To me, it’s about doing the right thing, not about trying to fit into the process that gets you the rank or prevents you from getting a discharge. If that’s the repercussion, I’m ready to take it,' he said. 'I think it’s more important that I let everybody know that … it is a wrong policy.' Choi said the group has contacted West Point leadership and gotten “a very warm response.” An academy spokesman couldn’t confirm that assertion, noting that today was the first day of West Point’s spring break and that the campus was nearly empty."