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Gay Montana Police Officer Tapped for Afghanistan Mission

In November 2005 following a homophobic assault in Missoula, Montana, openly gay police officer Scott Oak volunteered to be a liaison between the GLBTI community and law enforcement there.

ScottoakOak's actions caught the attention of the U.S. State Department. They've tapped him to join the police force in Afghanistan for a year to "conduct training in human and civil rights, ethics, diversity and basic police operations" according to The Missoulian.

Oak has served in the U.S. Air Force, and jumped at the unique opportunity.

Said Oak: "It's just the way I'm hardwired. I come from a background in service with the military and law enforcement. I'm sort of set on offering those services wherever they're needed. Ideally, I think that by going over there and helping out as a civilian instructor it will make for a smoother transition and allow America to pull out of there more quickly. I want to go experience another culture without breaking my commitment to public service. I think I'll be fulfilling that by helping to build a police department kind of from the ground up. I could be training police on everything from human rights to building searches. But I think, because of my experience as the GLBTI liaison officer, I'll be helping to enlighten them about cultural diversity."

The Mayor of Missoula, John Engen, has promised Oak that his job will be waiting for him when he returns but the more difficult part of the job for the officer will be leaving behind his partner of 12 years and the teenage foster son they're raising together.

Missoula to Afghanistan: Protect, serve abroad [the missoulian]

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Comments

  1. Certainly the probability of a few hundred thousand dollars salary didn't influence his decision. However, I wish he had spoken up for the dozen-odd once active duty Arabic language translators who were discharged
    for being non-heterosexual.

    Posted by: hadassah | Jan 9, 2007 11:49:40 AM


  2. I was seriously moved to TEARS by this story: thanks, Andy~! I pray that this guy--and we could use more of him--makes it back quickly and safvely to his partner and son. How moving. I'd like to see some right-wing dipshit try to take down this upstanding, courageous, HUMAN guy... G-d bless him.

    Posted by: stony_curtis | Jan 9, 2007 11:56:46 AM


  3. Talk about making a difference. Wow!

    Posted by: KJ | Jan 9, 2007 12:04:21 PM


  4. Hell, no.. I wouldn't go... Guy's crazy to leave his lover and kid ... it's a mistake...

    Posted by: miss dna | Jan 9, 2007 12:12:54 PM


  5. Damn Hadassah you are one seriously screwed up and bitter commenter. Your comments are more a reflection of your own selfish attitudes than an opinion of Officer Oak or his gesture and call to duty. His mere presence as an openly gay man in authority will do untold good in changing attitudes for the better. Too bad that he could not have that effect on you.

    Posted by: rudy | Jan 9, 2007 12:30:01 PM


  6. Don't ask, don't tell?

    Posted by: gay is the new straight | Jan 9, 2007 1:55:58 PM


  7. Why would one want to go to a place where, according to local law and custom, they could execute you for who you are? Seems a bit irresponsible when one has a partner and son to consider. Best of luck to him, I think he could make more of a difference at home, and it sounds as if he already is.

    Posted by: busytimmy | Jan 9, 2007 2:02:14 PM


  8. I know LGBT but what does the "I" in LGBTI stand for? Can anyone help?

    Posted by: Matt | Jan 9, 2007 2:22:55 PM


  9. "Intersexed"

    Posted by: Crixi Van Cheek | Jan 9, 2007 2:33:54 PM


  10. The guy seems like the real deal,and he deserves some serious $ for the job,but Iraq cannot be salvaged & bush & co.need some serious Guantanamo detention time!

    Posted by: kent | Jan 9, 2007 6:21:34 PM


  11. That's awesome. I'd hit it ;)

    Posted by: Graham | Jan 10, 2007 1:59:14 AM


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