west point grads form gay support group

Last week, thirty-eight graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York came out of the closet with an offer to help their alma mater educate future Army leaders on the need to accept and honor the sacrifices of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender troops: West Point grads form gay support group.

The thirty-eight graduates are the founding members of Knights Out, "an advocacy and education organization that strives for the best possible leadership of all soldiers, regardless of their sexual orientation."

The goal of Knights Out is to serve as a connection between gay troops and Army administrators to provide an "open forum" for communication between gay West Point graduates and their fellow alumni and to serve in an advisory role for West Point leaders in the eventuality that the military "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy is repealed by Congress.

Among the soldiers who came out, and has been prominently featured in press about Knights Out is National Guard 1st Lt. Dan Choi, an Iraq combat veteran who graduated from West Point in 2003 with a degree in Arabic language. Here he is with Rachel Maddow: Gay Soldier Talks About Discrimination in Military.

The guy is obviously an upstanding, qualified soldier with an impressive service record, regardless of sexual orientation. Isn't the U.S. military denying itself of critical skills and experience by discharging a soldier like Choi? The guy has chosen to stand up, be counted, and do the right thing -- regardless of the repercussions.

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