Dan Choi | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Harry Reid

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Watch: Dan Choi Gives Harry Reid His West Point Ring And Discharge Papers

Dan

It happened at Netroots Nation yesterday. Reid said that he would give the ring back to Lieutenant Choi, who received his official discharge letter from the military on Friday, once DADT is repealed. Choi can be heard telling him on stage, after the two hug, that he will hold him to his promise.

He won't be the only one.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Comments

  1. I hope Reid keeps his promise and returns the ring after DADT is repealed.

    Posted by: Dawnell_do | Jul 25, 2010 5:38:13 AM


  2. This was a really great moment. I am so proud of my friend, Dan, and my Senator. I can't tell you how emotional it was watching Dan hold his salute and Harry saluting back. When Dan came on to the stage and they hugged, the room erupted into a long standing ovation and cheers.

    I know the Senator will keep his promise.

    Posted by: DEREK WASHINGTON | Jul 25, 2010 5:51:37 AM


  3. Dan also had an interview with CBS News Radio in which he made clear that our political leaders, specifically naming President Obama, and their failures of leadership were repsonsible. "We all know that it's because the government leaders - because President Obama as commander in chief is still not willing to show solid leadership, to actually take action - that people are still getting fired."

    Posted by: Wayne | Jul 25, 2010 8:20:41 AM


  4. Great gesture from Choi and Reid.
    Every gay person in this country should recognize the importance of the repeal of DADT in terms of removal of stigma and dispelling of negative myths about us.
    I cannot understand how the armed services can now have mixed units of men and women and yet still think that mixed units of openly gay and straight people would somehow erode discipline and morale.
    Don't the armed services and Congress know that every straight man wants to get into every straight woman's pants? Or is that a myth??

    Posted by: Irwin Barry | Jul 25, 2010 9:15:25 AM


  5. As always, it is all about Dan. It is helpful to put a face on an issue, but it is unseemly to make that your own face. Dan is best at promoting Dan in grandstanding and dramatic ways, but how does this really advance anything? Wasn't Reid already on our side?

    Posted by: A Discharged Vet | Jul 25, 2010 9:46:40 AM


  6. @ Discharged Vet: Yes, Reid is "on our side." He's a good man.

    But there's a huge difference from SITTING on our side and ACTING on our side.

    That was the message: Reid needs to do more to signal to the antigays in the Senate [which INCLUDES Democrats like that putz Jim Webb] that he won't tolerate any attempt to remove the "maybe repeal" amendment from DEFAUTH....AND to the President that "repeal" must STILL mean an ACTUAL end to discharges which it NO LONGER automatically does thanks to Obama having sided with Gates yet again and forcing our allies in Congress to trash the Military Readiness Enhancement Bill.

    Their insistence on moving foward with legislation despite the bullying of Gates with the backing of Obama got them finally into the White House to discuss the ban, but Gates beat them at hardball and they left with, in the words of no less than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a weaker bill.

    You could be right...and 99% of the gay world wrong who saw this, and some of the other things he's done, as a transformational moment...Dan could simply be in this for ego gratification and the billions of dollars he's sucking out of the Movement [snark]. But if at the same time he helps end the ban why the fuck should you care?

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Jul 25, 2010 10:09:48 AM


  7. Political theater at it's best. Dan played right into Reid's hands. The repeal of DADT is a sure thing and now Reid gets to claim it as a feather in his cap. Why didn't Dan take the opportunity to scream at him about ENDA? Wasn't that what they held up traffic for the other day?

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 25, 2010 10:40:27 AM


  8. @ Irwin
    Actually, that is what happened when they allowed women to serve. Many men went out of their way to harass and harm the new women service members. There was a lot of rape and assaults. Many women dated for protection, because if they weren't known to be sleeping with someone, they were accused of being lesbian.

    Posted by: Lessthan | Jul 25, 2010 12:50:26 PM


  9. Oh Snap !!!!

    Posted by: ty | Jul 25, 2010 12:59:28 PM


  10. It has been mentioned on this site before, but if you really want a comprehensive look at gays and lesbians in the military, you need to read "Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military." It starts with the revolutionary war, up to just before DADT. It is a gut wrenching book.

    Posted by: Lessthan | Jul 25, 2010 1:12:45 PM


  11. Dan Choi is a distraction and a buffoon, but I do wish him well.

    I believe that DADT will be repealed and open-service will become a reality sooner than later. The survey and certification is a stall tactic to allow the services to figure out the thousands of small but important details associated with DADT repeal and open-service.

    Open service does have a direct impact on many aspects of morale and readiness: pay, housing and assignments just to give a few quick examples. This has less of an effect on single gay soldiers, but things get interesting with regard to couples.

    Pay. Married soldiers get certain allowances for food and housing. How will gays who are "married" obtain these benefits? It will be interesting to see how the military recognizes gay couples. How will gays prove their relationship? Will the military have to recognize gay marriage? How rich is that?

    Housing. Will gay couples be entitled to live in family housing areas on base? This can be a big deal, especially overseas. Again, what requirements will be needed to prove they are a couple?

    Assignments. Soldiers married to each other can usually have their next assignment together (at the same base) or within a certain distance. Will two gay soldiers who are a couple have this same opportunity?

    These examples may seem trivial to those who've never served, but are major factors that largely affect training, morale and readiness. Anything related to open service should be viewed through this prism.

    Everyone--top military brass most of all--knows that thousands of gays are currently serving and have served for generations. The process of allowing them to serve openly in the US armed forces needs to be done thoughtfully and deliberately. It took decades for the military to truly become racially integrated, and the record was not always pretty. Hopefully this will not be the case with gays.


    Posted by: Jay | Jul 26, 2010 2:51:34 AM


  12. Great, thought provoking, detailed comments--thank you Jay!, could not help but share your insight with my partner

    Posted by: to Jay | Jul 26, 2010 3:17:57 AM


  13. @ Jay. Your smear of Dan was as juvenile as it was unnecessary. No Obama Cockroach could have put it better.

    And your defense of the study is indefensible. Does the Pentagon pay you to shill for them, or do you volunteer? NONE of the issues you raise need to be fixed BEFORE discharges are stopped.

    NONE of 25 countries studied who have lifted their bans took more than FOUR months. Some stopped discharges IMMEDIATELY upon the decision.

    And we've seen two variations of it here already.

    When Gates announced the changes in DADT in March, he said they took effect IMMEDIATELY, and gave the branches 30 days to amend their paperwork.

    In 1993, when Clinton ordered a halt to asking potential recruits if they were gay, recruiting didn't grind to a halt because their forms were no longer valid. Recruiters simply took a pen and marked out the question about homosexuality until new forms arrive.

    Enforcement of/education about allowing open service is no different than the finely developed process enforcing acceptance by troops of different races, men of women, different ethnicities, religions, and political beliefs.

    The majority of gays in the military, like the majority of civilian gays, are not involved in relationships that would qualify for the same kind of housing, benefits, etc., as straight marrieds. Even if they were, administering applicable issues would not be the hurdle you imagine.

    The history of racial integration was not always "pretty" and "took decades" because it was ALLOWED to by poor and/or outright racist brass. They do not need to reinvent a special gay wheel, but merely apply the same kind of lessons which ALL begin and end with zero tolerance for dissent and discrimination.

    "Those who take the point of view that there must be a long period of transition are simply setting up a straw man to hide their real agenda, which is to maintain the current ban. Given these arguments, it is critical that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell not be perceived as a complicated puzzle requiring complex solutions to minor problems." - Center for American Progress, March 2010.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Jul 26, 2010 4:11:36 AM


  14. To all the nay-saying Nancys: what have you done this week to advance our fight for our rights? Seriously. List the phone calls, conversations, meetings attended, minds changed, dollars donated and voter registration efforts you've made this week.

    So much of our energy is spent ignoring, deflecting or convincing the nay-sayers that we really are making progress.

    So much more is spent raising awareness and convincing the apathetic LGBT community that we really are second-class citizens.

    It's extremely exciting to see that Lt. Choi can rise above all this waste and negative energy and actually get stuff done.

    When's the last time you spoke with the Senate Majority Leader?

    Posted by: Rich Murray | Jul 26, 2010 8:09:37 AM


  15. Lt. Choi is an embarrisment to every serving GAY military person. To give back his Ring for any reason; {real or imagined} is disgusting. If he was truly proud of himself and worthy of our support, nothing could have gotten his ring off of his finger, short of death.

    Posted by: Jerrry12 | Jul 28, 2010 5:40:52 PM


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