Lieutenant Dan Choi came out publicly as a homosexual in early 2009, and last week the military announced that it was giving him an honorable discharge. However, the Iraq war veteran has promised to fight for the rights for other soldiers who are forced to hide their sexual orientation.
Choi’s dismissal was mandated under the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which the Obama administration has promised to repeal. However, this initiative is now on hold, pending a review of the attitudes in the military that is being conducted by the Pentagon and expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, Choi has promised to push for a quick overturn of the law that bans openly homosexual individuals from serving in the military, telling CNN that “there are a lot of people who are suffering, and my oath, my commitment to them, doesn’t end.”
Choi is a 2003 West Point graduate who served two tours in Iraq and is a fluent Arabic speaker.
According to Service Members Legal Defense Network, more than 13,500 soldiers have been discharged under the law since it was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1994.