When Lt. Dan Choi finishes up with his trial, which will take place on Thursday, March 28, in Washington, D.C., he and I are headed to Jeju Island, South Korea’s own little island paradise. Dan needs some paradise right now. He is on trial for contesting and questioning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which was later repealed, yet now he has to go to court, and face some possibly harsh consequences, for speaking out against it years ago.
Choi is an Iraq War veteran. He is an Arabic linguist — the kind of soldier desperately needed there — yet because he is gay and proud and refused to stay silent on the matter of the military’s systematic homophobia, he was unfairly discharged and now has to stand trial. His work as a gay activist led to the eventual demise of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which allowed LGBT folks to serve openly in the military, and in a cruelly ironic twist of fate, is still being asked to pay for the “crime” of being gay.
I always hated DADT. It’s foul and unbelievably disrespectful to the people who serve this country. They give up their lives in the name of freedom and democracy, they die, their bodies brought back in somber flag draped coffins to their grief stricken families, the entire time with DADT never once allowing them to fully be themselves. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Don’t ask anyone who they are, don’t tell anyone who you are — but still die for us, ok?
How is this acceptable? How is this possible? For the people who give so much, how could we return so little?
How is it that now that DADT is repealed, Lt. Dan Choi must still stand trial for it? I am so mad and I am so worried — I’d like to just run away right now with Dan to Jeju Island. We could escape and live on the beach in a hut made of braided palm leaves. I could use all the survival techniques I have learned from watching Man vs Wild. We could get incredibly tan and never wear shoes and squat in front of our hut drinking soju and no one would ever find us because we would fit right in. Two Korean needles in a huge Korean haystack. I would make us money by diving for abalone. We would be just fine.
Please tweet this and support Lt. Dan Choi @ltdanchoi
In doing so, we begin to pay back the enormous debt owed to the LGBT soldiers who serve this country. We owe so much.
How you can help, FROM LT. DAN CHOI:
On Thursday morning, March 28th in Federal Criminal Court, I stand trial for protesting back in 2010 against “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”
The federal prosecutor has fiercely pushed this case for three years now, demanding the maximum punishment: 6 months in federal prison. To date, the government lost 5 of 6 protest cases against me, but they refuse to drop this one. Even after the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” this seldom-used criminal charge against me remains: “Failure to Obey.” My applications to re-enlist in the army were denied solely because of this trial. Whether it is to “teach me a lesson,” or prevent my reinstatement, or bully those who practice free speech, the prosecution will not give up.
Nor will we. I ask you to please stand with me on this final lap, Thursday morning, March 28th.
The government is smart, powerful, intimidating and well resourced. But I stand on the principles learned in Basic Training: Defend freedom. Tell the truth. Never give up. Please join me, my fellow freedom fighters, international LGBT civil rights activists and people from all across the country who are flying in to send a clear message to the government: We will never stop defending our freedom to speak, serve and love.
Please let me know if you’ll be there! I’ll keep you updated about special gatherings and organizing.
Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/events/342518505852589/
Even if you can’t, please spread the word and forward this message, or consider writing a letter to the judge!
USA v. Lt. Daniel Choi
E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse
United States District Court
333 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
8:00 AM on Courthouse Lawn -
Yoga Meditation and Interfaith Prayer
9:00 AM in Courtroom 6, (Second Floor) -
Love is still worth fighting for.
Lt. Dan Choi
If anyone here (esp. press) would like to write to the prosecutor and ask her why these criminal charges are still pressed so vigorously (See below) her contact is Angela George <Angela.George@usdoj.gov> at phone number 202-509-5379… she won’t give me a straight up answer on:
(1) why this is so important to her office
(2) why she refuses to address me or any gay veteran by rank, as prescribed by AR670-1,
or (3) how much this has cost, with over 8 highly skilled US Attorney’s on board for interlocutory appeals and writs, against one pro se (Latin for … up-shit-creek!) Defendant [i'm doing this pro se, mostly because it was Dr. Kameny's dying wish for me, and its a personal promise I made to him. I now realize how difficult that promise, and his own monumental legacy is, to uphold.]
AUSA Angela S. George, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia
555 4th Street, N.W., Room 4444
Washington, D.C. 20530
Her Supervisor: Guerrero, Gilberto (USADC):
The DoJ Appelate Team:
Ms. McCord, Mary B., Assistant U.S. Attorney:
Mr. Strand, Stratton Christopher, Assistant U.S. Attorney:
Mr. McLeese, Roy W., III, Assistant U.S. Attorney:
firstname.lastname@example.org, Lori.Buckler@usdoj.gov, Victoria.Ashton@usdoj.gov