Mystery Surrounds Shooting Death of Lesbian Soldier

Mystery surrounds the shooting death of Ciara Durkin, a lesbian serving in Afghanistan with troops from the Massachusetts National Guard.

CiaradurkinThe Boston Globe reports: “The Defense Department says it is investigating Durkin’s death, which it described as a ‘non-combat-related incident.’ Durkin’s family says Army officials have told them she was found with a single bullet in her head, lying near the church where she worshipped on the secure Bagram Airfield. The Army has not publicly disclosed whether a weapon was found near her body. The Massachusetts National Guard initially reported that Durkin was killed in action, though a Guard spokesman later said the term meant only that Durkin was serving in Afghanistan at the time.”

US Senators John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy and US Representative William D. Delahunt have made special requests to the Defense Department for answers about Durkin, a resident of Quincy, Massachusetts.

Durkin’s sister, Fiona Canavan, one of nine siblings in the family, has concerns that the shooting could have been related to Durkin’s sexuality: “Ciara was a lesbian, and that’s bound to come out. It is possible that someone over there found that out, and, you know, maybe they were very homophobic.”

Canavan added: “She did say to us that she had concerns about things she was seeing when she was over there. She told us if anything happened to her, that we were to investigate it.”


  1. Marc says

    If she was shot for being lesbian, this would be “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.” taken to a terrifying extreme. General Pace should be ashamed of himself.

  2. Derrick from Philly says

    Violence against gay people is so prevalent, it happens every day somewhere. And it mainly happens to those of us that cannot hide, those that cannot “pass” for straight. Those of you who’ve never or rarely been touched by violent gay-bashing, it’s usually because the violent bigots who come in contact with you DON’T KNOW that you’re gay. Some of y’all seem to think it’s because you’re “confident and strong”. Yeah, right…well I’m glad y’all exude confidence. Just be careful leaving a gay club or some gay event–then the savages CAN tell.

  3. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED says

    Such murders are not that unusual.

    In 1999 PFC Barry Winchell was bludgeoned in his barracks because he was gay. A young gay sailor named Allen Schindler was beaten so badly he nearly lost his face and even his mother couldn’t identify him. There are undoubtedly other deaths listed as accidental, combat related, or suicides that could be added to the list.

    As in civilian life, these murders are accompanied by unhealthy doses of harassment and beatings. The pattern of officially sanctioned military bigotry includes a massive number of unlawful discharges and the loss of health and retirement benefits to service members who only crime is who they love.

    The christian bigots in command of the armed forces, including General Pace and secretaries of war Rumsfeld and Gates are only partly liable for this deadly state of affairs. The bulk of the responsibility lies with Bill Clinton’s DADT and the Republicans and Democrats in the Congress who voted for it and maintain it. The same Congress that permitted George Bush’s illegal oil wars before the 2006 elections and who continue funding them today. The same Congress that puts young Americans in harms way to aid oil pirates.

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