“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Critic Discharged from Army, After Telling

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REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Lt. Dan Choi, an openly gay, outspoken critic of the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, has been honorably discharged from the Army — for violating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

He first revealed he was gay to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, and the admission prompted the Army to begin proceedings to discharge him. His state was uncertain for two years, and Choi said he had hoped to stay in the army until “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed.

After graduating from West Point in 2003, he served for two years in Iraq. After returning from deployment, he began to vocally protest “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Choi was arrested in March for handcuffing himself to a White House fence in protest of the policy, which bars openly gay men and women from serving in the military. Those who oppose the repeal say the army needs more time to see how openly gay soldiers would affect military life.

Choi found out about his discharge after receiving a phone call from his New York Army National Guard commander Thursday. He has said he still intends to call for the policy’s repeal. “Our fight is just beginning,” he wrote on Twitter.