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4.21.2010

lt. dan choi arrested again in white house protest

Lt. Dan Choi has been arrested again! He was among six people in military uniforms who handcuffed themselves to the North Lawn fence of the White House yesterday to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": Dan Choi, Other Gay Rights Protesters Arrested After Chaining Selves to White House Fence.

As you know, Choi is an openly gay Iraq war veteran and West Point graduate who has emerged as one of the most prominent critics of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. He was also arrested last month for chaining himself to the White House fence.

Yesterday's action was organized by a group called GetEQUAL, which called on Preisdent Obama to repeal the policy immediately through action connected to the upcoming Defense Authorization Bill:
"President Obama knows that the DAB provides a way to repeal DADT immediately," Get Equal says. "And he knows that repealing the policy quickly and decisively is the right thing to do for LGBT servicemembers and for all of the armed forces. But recent reports suggest that the Administration is trying to delay any law change until December or even later."

The military is currently engaged in a review of the impact of repealing the policy, with a deadline of December 1st. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that repeal is the "right thing to do," but the president and military leaders have moved deliberately toward that goal.

GetEQUAL identifies the six protesters as Choi, Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, Petty Officer Larry Whitt, Petty Officer Autumn Sandeen, Cadet Mara Boyd and Cpl. Evelyn Thomas. Pietrangelo was arrested with Choi last month as well.
Not only has Dan Choi demonstrated that he's an upstanding, qualified soldier, but above all, I admire his conviction. The guy is on a mission for equality, and he is not going to stop until he sees it all the way through. More here, with video: Gay Veterans Chain Themselves To White House Gate, Demand DADT Repeal (VIDEO)