Lieutenant Daniel Choi, a founding member of Knights Out, an organization of out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) West Point Alumni, received a letter from the Department of the Army on April 23, discharging him from the Army due to his sexual orientation. Today, he published an open letter to President Obama and to all members of Congress, which reads in part:
I have personally served for a decade under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: an immoral law and policy that forces American soldiers to deceive and lie about their sexual orientation. Worse, it forces others to tolerate deception and lying. These values are completely opposed to anything I learned at West Point. Deception and lies poison a unit and cripple a fighting force.
As an infantry officer, an Iraq combat veteran and a West Point graduate with a degree in Arabic, I refuse to lie to my commanders. I refuse to lie to my peers. I refuse to lie to my subordinates. I demand honesty and courage from my soldiers. They should demand the same from me.
It frankly boggles the mind that as the United States is in the midst of fighting two wars, highly qualified individuals are being booted from the military. Dan Choi is both a combat veteran and an Arab linguist – exactly the type of soldier we need in the Army.
I hope you’ll join me today in calling the White House switchboard at 202-456-1111 and urging President Obama not to fire Lt. Dan Choi; and to keep his promise to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.