Air Force Discharges Lesbian After Cops Out Her to Military

While 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is an unjust policy in and of itself, it's particularly unjust when someone playing by the military's rules is outed by a third party and discharged because of it. In Sergeant Jene Newsome's case, the third party was the Rapid City, South Dakota police, who happened to see an Iowa marriage certificate at her home after showing up with a warrant for her wife, who was wanted for theft in Alaska.

The AP reportsNewsome  "Newsome was at work at the base at the time and refused to immediately come home and assist the officers in finding her partner, whom she married in Iowa — where gay marriage is legal — in October.
Police officers, who said they spotted the marriage license on the kitchen table through a window of Newsome's home, alerted the base, police Chief Steve Allender said in a statement sent to the AP. The license was relevant to the investigation because it showed both the relationship and residency of the two women, he said."

The ACLU of South Dakota does not feel the information was relevant and have filed a complaint:

"'This information was intentionally turned over because of 'don't ask, don't tell' and to out Jene so that she would lose her military status,' said Robert Doody, executive director of ACLU South Dakota. The ACLU is focusing its complaint on the police department, not the military, and Newsome said she and her attorney have not yet decided on whether to file a lawsuit.
'The 'don't ask, don't tell' piece is important and critical to this, but also it's a police misconduct case,' Doody said."


  1. Mike says

    Huh? So it’s normal procedure for the police to report to employers if someone’s spouse is involved in a criminal investigation? And for that matter, the marriage at this point in time wasn’t valid in South Dakota anyway, so that makes it weirder. It definitely appears like the police were doing this solely based upon sexual orientation.

  2. says

    It doesn’t make what the police did “right,” but she, like millions of others, doesn’t understand DADT which includes banning same sex marriages [even in 1993, the Trogs knew they were coming].

    But the marriage is secondary. Third party “outings” ARE permitted by DADT because they’re seen as a “product” of “telling” which DADT forbids you’re doing to ANYONE. Your married partner, your trick, your Mama…. An honest description would be “gays are allowed to serve as long as they have always been and remain virgins and NO ONE knows they are gay but themselves.”

    If she weren’t married and someone had simply seen her with another woman, believed she was, therefore, gay, and reported her to the Air Force, AND her commander CHOSE to believe it was, in the terms of the implementing regulations, “credible information,” he/she could then start an investigation toward discharge proceedings.

    It is NOT as simple as not directly “telling” about yourself, and they can “ask” if they’re given “credible” reason to that they choose to act upon. Some commanders choose to look the other way regardless, as probably would have happened in Victor Fehrenbach’s case had the bizzaro guy he had sex with not been so determined to see him discharged [he first accused VF of rape]. But if the commander goes forward, they CAN then ask. One can refuse to answer but if there’s enough smoke you will be fired.

  3. ty says

    I hope the ACLU stays on top of this, the police did not have a search warrant and this is total BULLSHIT !

  4. Raven says

    Funny, if they were to take that marriage certificate anywhere else in the state and ask that their relationship be recognized they would be laughed (at best) out of the building. But these officers thought it was their duty to tell the military. Hope the ACLU shuts them down but hard.

  5. walter says

    the cops must be supermen to be able to read a marriage license on the table through the window. these cops should get jobs as mentalists

  6. says

    Two exceptions to “don’t tell,” I should have mentioned.

    1. your attorney

    2. a security clearance investigator. That protection came explicitly through an Executive Order by President Clinton. Which, of course, is all the more interesting given Obama claims he has no powers to limit DADT.

  7. Soren456 says

    At some point even these Prairie Puritans will see that they are over-reaching and simply out of bounds, and all this shit will topple of its own weight.

    Or not.

    But I do hope that: 1) the Texas schoolbooks becoming John Birch tracts; 2) the Mississippi school district scared off by a lesbian; and 3) these window-peeping cops ruining a career will all add up to some sort of self-destructive overload.

    Or not.

    I do know better.