The reason for the lack of information being released by the Navy and the Marine Corps about whether sailor August Provost's murder was a hate crime related to his sexual orientation is because, according to a U.S. Congressman from California, it would raise questions about consequences of DADT and the inability for any gay or lesbian to report harassment without outing themselves. Here is the Navy Times take on the status of the case.

A sailor remained the top suspect in the June 30 murder of a fellow sailor with Assault Craft Unit 5 at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

…Navy officials said they don’t believe the shooting was gang- or terror-related. They also continued to dispute rumors that Provost was killed because he was gay, despite contentions raised by several relatives and gay advocacy groups who claim the sailor had been harassed at the unit because he was open about his homosexuality.

While Navy officials have denied that the shooting was a hate crime, Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., has asked Navy and Marine Corps officials for additional investigations into Provost’s death. Provost “made the selfless and courageous decision to serve his country, regardless of his sexual orientation; he should be treated with honor and respect,” Filner wrote in letters to Defense Secretary Robert Gates; Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway; Col. Nicholas F. Marano, who is Camp Pendleton’s base commander; and Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., who chairs the House Armed Services Committee.

Filner said he was frustrated with a lack of information from the Navy and the Marine Corps, particularly over the suspicion that Provost’s sexuality might be connected to his death, which would raise questions about consequences of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

“They don’t want that discussion to take place,” he said.

There is zero incentive for the Pentagon to admit this was a sexual orientation-related hate crime. I do hope that all of the relevant information comes out, because clearly there is no national security risk if the facts come out. The real risk out there is the one the Pentagon put the country in by discharging qualified gay and lesbian personnel.

* Sheila Jackson-Lee to call for Congressional investigation into the murder of sailor August Provost 
* Time article mulls connection between slain sailor's murder to queasiness over repealing DADT 
* Sailor killed at Camp Pendleton may have been target of hate crime 

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding