Ever since Lt. Dan Choi came out on the Rachel Maddow show he has, because of DADT, been living with a clock ticking on his military career. In fact, this weekend Choi was scheduled to speak at GLTF Creating Change conference to a workshop on Friday morning about repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” But Choi couldn’t make the conference. He had been called back to duty.
Bilerico’s Jeff Sheng explains:
Apparently, Lt. Choi’s commander has always been in full support of him, and even after Lt. Choi came out on The Rachel Maddow Show, his commander did not press for his discharge. The military did eventually serve Lt. Choi a discharge notification – essentially firing him from his job, but he was allowed to fight this at trial, and as it currently stands, the discharge has not been finalized. Given the current state of how DADT is in such flux, and also, in my opinion, the prominence and celebrity of Lt. Choi, his discharge might never be fully enforced.
Sheng wondered what losing Choi as a vocal opponent of DADT would do to the fight to repeal the policy:
. . . when I asked him what he thinks his new voice might be as the repeal of DADT takes shape. He spoke about perhaps helping the military implement a future non-discrimination policy, and advising in issues involving sensitivity trainings on LGBT issues. But the comment that struck me the most was when he said, “Actions speak louder than words.” It made sense all of a sudden, that the sheer act of him rejoining his unit and serving with everyone else, could be his most powerful voice in the debate so far. That seeing an openly gay service member train and fight with his unit, is something that truly does speak louder than words.
It sure does. I can’t imagine a more powerful way to demonstrate the wrongness of the arguments against repealing DADT than to not just have an out gay soldier serving openly, but to have the most famous out gay soldier serving openly.
(image from Lt. Dan Choi via Bilerico)