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Navy discharging service member who attended NY marriage rally

What was that about a recruiting problem and preparing for an essential skills draft? I guess the Navy has nothing better to do than kick out a ten-year veteran for appearing at an equality rally. (SLDN):

Rhonda Davis, a petty officer first class journalist in the Navy, attended the rally and subsequently gave an interview to local radio station 1010WINS where she identified herself as a member of the Navy. Davis also endorsed same-sex marriage and indicated in her interview that she was looking forward to someday marrying her partner of more than three years. On June 5th, Davis’s command informed her that, after being made aware of the interview by callers to the office where she is stationed, they were forced to discharge her under the law, which prohibits openly lesbian, gay and bisexual personnel from serving in the armed forces.

“Petty Officer Davis’s case highlights the double-standard ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ forces gay men and women to serve under,” said Sharra E. Greer, director of law and policy for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), which is representing Davis. “While heterosexual military personnel can proclaim their love from the San Francisco Bridge to the Brooklyn Bridge without consequence, lesbian or gay service members who do the same are sent packing because their proclamation is about someone of the same gender. As a result, the Navy is now losing the talents and dedication of a ten-year veteran simply because of federally sanctioned homophobia.”

The Department of Defense has discharged more than 11,000 service members since 1993 under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), more than 800 of those service members were trained in skills deemed ‘mission-critical’ by the Pentagon. A Blue Ribbon panel recently estimated the cost of the ban at more than $363.8 million.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding