Dan Choi | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Jim Pietrangelo | Military | News

Lt. Dan Choi and Captain Jim Pietrangelo to Embark on Hunger Strike Over 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Compromise


More from Lt. Dan Choi:

Immediately following congressional mark-ups on the National Defense Authorization Act 2011, Captain James Pietrangelo and I will commence a fast in pursuit of Equality and Dignity. We have three demands of President Barack Obama.

DEMAND #1: End the Comprehensive Working Group "Study," which insults the dignity of all Americans.
DEMAND #2: End "Don't Ask Don't Tell" discharges forever.
DEMAND #3: Replace all discriminatory regulations in the military with a comprehensive non-discrimination policy.

This action is not organized in the name of any organization.

As you may recall, Pietrangelo has joined Choi in previous acts of civil disobedience, chaining themselves to the White House fence on March 18.

Choi adds: 

"In response to the United States Senate and the House of Representatives voting on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, forces are mobilizing for non-violent direct action and civil disobedience. Veterans are ready to spend Memorial Weekend in prison. Fasting will also commence. The simple demands are (1) End DADT firings. (2) Enact non-discrimination. (3) End the insulting, wasteful study. The community knows that the President does have within his power to end the discharges immediately. The President has not responded authentically in ending the firings and inherent discrimination. This has set into place a call to action that can no longer be ignored. It is going to met with the same degree of seriousness that it brought on the lives of those living under DADT. It is a matter of life or death which will be honored through civil disobedience and fasting. This is a formidable call to conscience which invites all to stand in Equality and Dignity."

Choi has been critical of the so-called "compromise" on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", calling it a "delay".

Choi criticized Obama's lack of leadership on Tuesday night's Joy Behar Show on CNN. Choi also posted a YouTube video with some of his thoughts.

Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. For me Dan has officially jumped the shark. This just seems like attention seeking. Not on the part of the gay community, no, he no longer represents us all, but attention for himself.

    Posted by: Rick | May 27, 2010 8:17:00 AM

  2. @Rick

    Fortunately, you aren't even close to representing "us all". Choi's demands are reasonable, and you're a worthless, conformist fuck.

    Posted by: Eugene | May 27, 2010 8:45:03 AM

  3. Yeah I think Dan has crossed over into crazy town. I understand his passion and frustration, but to starve yourself for the military is a bit extreme.

    Posted by: Dairyqueen | May 27, 2010 8:45:16 AM

  4. I hope these wonderful guys, unlike any recent or present Commander-in-Chief, have viable exit strategies to end their hunger strike. I say this because I don't think any of their demands will be met anytime soon, so they just might starve to death. Personally, I think the DADT compromise is a sham. A way to kick the problem down the road. The Pentagon is now an unelected, unaccountable Fourth branch of the US government. I no longer look to Obama for leadership, just flip-flopping and compromise. I no longer trust him or believe him. If I vote for him again, it'll be another time I'll hold my nose and select the lesser of two evils. I'm so tired of having to make that choice come election time. I thought Obama would bring positive change to DC, all he's brought is business as usual.

    Posted by: Bob R | May 27, 2010 8:47:35 AM

  5. Seriously. I am so over this guy. He just seems hysterical at this point.

    Posted by: George | May 27, 2010 8:49:07 AM

  6. OH PLEASE. This guy has gone off the deep end and has been totally corrupted by the spotlight. Choi needs to get a grip on reality.

    Posted by: Mike C. | May 27, 2010 8:55:39 AM

  7. george and rick are cowards. Who needs them. They also know absolutely nothing about the history of nonviolent protest as a means of achieving human rights. I guess instead of considering fellow hunger strikers like Nelson Mandela and Gandhi heroes, they think they were hysterical, attention seeking, drama queens too. It is revolting to hear members of our own community reduced to childish name calling because they are too afraid to demand their civil rights. If you don't want to fight then just shut up and stay out of the way.

    Posted by: gaylib | May 27, 2010 9:02:42 AM

  8. I greatly admire Dan Choi and support him in his latest "desperate" measure. You know what they say about desperate times.

    My one concern is his first demand. To ask that the "study" be stopped just makes it look, to those who are sitting on the fence or tentatively on our side, as if we have something to hide and don't want the study to expose something that will hurt our cause. I know the reason he wants to end the study; because there have be MANY studies already that have proven that gays in the military pose NO threat to morale, readiness or mission. However, this isn't how it will be received by the public.

    Dan needs to continue his righteous fight but he needs to be VERY smart and VERY careful with his strategy.

    And to those of you who disagree with his tactics, how many of you are currently facing discharge? How many of you have ever even served one day in the military? Unless you are currently facing discharge under DADT you can't possibly understand his urgency or his tenacity. Some of you would go on a hunger strike if a bar was threatened with closure or a circuit party was being threatened with cancellation.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 27, 2010 9:05:06 AM

  9. It's funny how so many people have bought into what Gay, Inc is trying to sell.

    Dan raises a couple of good points, the most important being that this proposed amendment does not equal the end of discrimination against GLB servicemen and -women. It doesn't. The power to make the decisions reverts back to the Pentagon, and we all know what the Pentagon was doing to us in 1992.

    Why do we find this acceptable?

    Posted by: DR | May 27, 2010 9:17:15 AM

  10. So some are you are OK with them risking their lives in combat for your liberty & safety, yet you disagree that they do it for equal rights?

    Think about it.


    Posted by: DD | May 27, 2010 9:17:50 AM

  11. To TAMPAZEKE, Dan Choi was NOT facing discharge until he starting repeatedly handcuffing himself to the fence of the Commander in Chief. Choi was invited back to the military and his company even though he was gay. It was one of the big signs that things were changing: even after he went on Rachel Maddow, after he became a spokesperson for repealing DADT, the military said they would NOT discharge him and wanted him back. That is until he became a hysteric

    Posted by: Mike C. | May 27, 2010 9:18:18 AM

  12. Oh, and I'd like to add one more "how many of you's" to my list...

    How many of YOU who are scolding and dismissing Dan for "going too far", "jumping the shark" and "going over the edge" have done something, ANYTHING to fight DADT. I'll bet my left nut that some of you complaining the loudest have done NOTHING, not so much as lifted a finger to send an email, or sign a petition or make a telephone call.

    Unfortunately, EVERY civil rights movement has that select few who sit on the sidelines throwing stones at the people doing the hard work. Sadly, our community, and our movement, are no exceptions.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 27, 2010 9:18:49 AM

  13. MIKE C., that shows the difference between YOU and DAN. YOU look after your own ass while saying a collective FUCK YOU to others in your same boat. "As long as I'm safe, FUCK everyone else" Dan was willing to put his own career and his own freedom on the line to fight for those who wouldn't or COULDN'T speak out for themselves but who were still threatened by DADT.

    We need a few MORE Dan's and a few LESS MIKE C'S in our community, in our world.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 27, 2010 9:22:21 AM

  14. Off to the office now. I'll address any flame bombs thrown my way when I get back.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 27, 2010 9:23:35 AM

  15. As long as discrimination exists Lt.Choi is right. This "Repeal" is mealy mouthed.....just weasel words, allowing discharges to continue with an unknown review date.
    You've had your studies; NATO armies, serving with you, have told you there is no negative side to gays in their militaries......yet you delay equality.
    The truth is that there are bigots serving in the higher ranks of the military who want to keep out gays......for whatever reasons (I believe religous bigotry is certainly one reason). This so called "study" is a sham.......like politicians sending something off to a committee for a report.....

    I wish Lt.Choi well; fasting is a good protest; but PLEASE, no hunger strike. I've seen those and I have seen how they end.

    I am amazed that some posters here seem so comfortable/blaze (accent) with delayed rights and delayed equality. Do you really think we will get anywhere without exposing discrimination and bigotry ? And on what legal or philosophical basis should equal rights be delayed ? These rights should have been enforced years ago. Any delay is compounding an egregious wrong.
    Protest, protest, protest.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | May 27, 2010 9:57:20 AM

  16. I think it's possible to believe that the DADT "compromise" is a total sham and disgraceful, yet still believe that Choi is a publicity hound. My boyfriend saw him speak at a college several weeks ago and said he behaved like a small-town politician; gladhanding, self-centered, insincere. A hunger strike won't achieve anything but increased attention directed at Dan Choi. Unless the government has a vested interest in keeping you alive (Gandhi or the early 20th century suffragettes, for example), it isn't a particular effective tactic.

    Posted by: RM | May 27, 2010 10:00:54 AM

  17. Oh no doubt he's become an ego maniac

    Posted by: Mike C. | May 27, 2010 10:16:34 AM

  18. Dan Choi > Kip Williams

    Posted by: JeffRob | May 27, 2010 10:36:39 AM

  19. There is not another name that is out front for the repeal of DADT that can speak with the authority Dan Choi. He just may be our Martin Luther King. It is quite clear from some of these comments why our community is failing in the fight for our rights, there is no unity. The HRC queens don't want the access to the wine and cheese parties to end. I left HRC years ago when i began to realize they were happy with scraps from the table. Well I want a seat at the table and someone needs to lead us there! Go Dan.

    Posted by: major707 | May 27, 2010 11:40:11 AM

  20. Really Dan? Now, you're Ghandi?
    If this was a protest of "obesity in America" perhaps it might make some sense. But, this is just another circus side-show stunt from GetEQUAL.

    DADT Repeal is front and center. The "Compromise" sucks, but we have plenty of attention. Hundreds of organizations have been working on the issue and thousands of people have worked tirelessly on our behalf. None of them wants "attention," they want results.

    The media will ignore this stunt, too. We've seen a lot of "stupid and childish" from this small band of misfits. This latest one borders on mental illness.

    Call the Doctors NOW.

    Posted by: AndrewW | May 27, 2010 11:48:09 AM

  21. Oh yeah Rick, Lt. Dan Choi "jumped the shark". You're TOO FUNNY. And pathetic.

    Wonder what you would say to those who protested in 1969 for gay equality?

    Wonder what you would say about the ACT-UP protesters who were able to fast track AIDS medicine.

    Guess what? We don't care what you say.

    Our March for Equality continues on.
    Join the bus or get the heck out of the way!

    Yeah Lt. Dan Choi!

    Posted by: FunMe | May 27, 2010 1:38:48 PM

  22. Check GetEQUAL.com for updates on Choi's health.

    I will post the hospital he's taken to so we can send cards and letters. Please, for the sake of our equality, DO NOT send FOOD.

    I would join Dan in this historical act of courage and bravery, but I'm going on a Hunger Strike until they clean up the Gulf. Afterwards, I expect to consume a few Pelicans. Don't laugh, Pelican Stew, yum.

    Pray for us both.

    Posted by: Justin_Activist | May 27, 2010 2:08:29 PM


    We are being laughed at and ridiculed. Have a snack and see a shrink. GetAWAY from the nutjobs at GetEQUAL. You have lost your credibility, try to preserve some of your honor.

    Posted by: Enlisted_and_Sane | May 27, 2010 4:32:51 PM

  24. Choi joined the military knowing full well that DADT was in force.

    Thousands were discharged from military careers because the law was passed while they were serving their country.

    I draw a huge distinction between those in the latter camp versus those like Choi who enlisted knowing the rules.

    Choi's an attention-seeker who knew what he'd signed up for from day one.

    Posted by: Rob G. | May 28, 2010 2:49:03 AM

  25. It's a step in the right direction. Let's celebrate and keep pushing forward.

    Posted by: SpeNYC | May 28, 2010 11:22:04 AM

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