Don't Ask, Don't Tell Victim Choi Seeks Additional Support

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Tustin's Dan Choi, who turned up in previous Navel Gazing posts here and (hilariously) here, is famously battling to remain an Army lieutenant despite having come out as a gay American. He has received 141,262 online signatures of support for his recent letter to President Obama seeking the Commander in Chief's intervention.

Rick Jacobs, the chairman of California's progressive online site Courage Campaign, sends word that Choi is again reaching out for public support on the eve of his military trial.

Choi's letter to Courage Campaign supporters follows . . . Dear Courage Campaign supporter,

On Tuesday at 8 a.m., I will stand trial for speaking three truthful words: "I am gay."

On Tuesday, I will face a panel of colonels who will decide whether or not to fire me--to discharge me for "moral and professional dereliction" under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

On Tuesday, I will try to prove that it's not immoral to tell the truth.

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.

My case requires that I provide personal testimony from people who can attest to my character. That's why several members of my military unit have written letters of support and offered to testify on my behalf.

Now I need your help. ANYONE who believes the Army should not fire me can take a stand right now. I am bringing a statement of support to Tuesday's trial and I need you to add your signature to it. Will you support me by signing this statement before Tuesday?

I want to thank the 141,262 people who have signed the "Don't Fire Dan" letter launched a few weeks ago by the Courage Campaign and CREDO Mobile to President Obama, asking him to take leadership to bring this tragic policy to an end.

The momentum is building. This week, 77 members of Congress signed a letter to the President citing my service as an example of why DADT should be repealed. And a Gallup poll was recently released showing that 69 percent of Americans--including 58 percent of Republicans - favor allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve their country.

As I learned at West Point, deception and lies poison a unit and cripple a fighting force. That's why more than 70 of my fellow West Point graduates have also come out of the closet to join Knights Out, the organization I co-founded to build support for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

The only way we will eventually overturn "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is by speaking up together. You can help me fight back right now by adding your name to my statement of support. On Tuesday morning, I will bring your signature--and thousands of others--to my trial as a demonstration of your collective support.

National security means many things, but the thing that makes us secure in our nation and homes is love. What makes me a better soldier, leader, Christian and human being is love. And I'm not going to hide my love.

Love is worth it.

Thank you for your support.

Daniel W. Choi
1LT, IN
New York Army National Guard
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