Military | News

Navy: Ensign Unfairly Disciplined After Anti-Gay Harassment Complaints

You may remember the story of Steve Crowston, an ensign in the US Navy, who filed anti-gay harassment complaints last year against his commanding officer after being taunted with nicknames such as “Gay Boy,” “Fagmeister,” “Cowgirl,” and “Romo’s Bitch.” Crowston claimed that, after filing the complaint, he was then unfarily reprimanded. An investigation by the US Navy has now concluded that he was indeed the victim of reprisal.

6a00d8341c730253ef013486374b72970c-800wi The The Virginian-Pilot reports:

"In a Feb. 2 letter to Crowston, the Navy IG said its investigation found that he was improperly punished because of his complaints. A letter from the Defense Department IG to the Navy IG, sent two weeks earlier, states that the Defense Department reviewed the Navy's investigation and supports its conclusions."

"'Based on our review, we agree that Cmdr. Liam Bruen, Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron 136, issued Ensign Crowston an unfavorable fitness report in reprisal for his protected communications,' the Defense Department letter says. Christopher, who is not named in either letter, is now the commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 136, which is deployed aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier Enterprise. Bruen is assigned to the carrier John C. Stennis."

"Neither of them could be reached Wednesday. Crowston said he considers the IG findings an overdue victory. "I've always known it was reprisal," said Crowston, now at Naval Special Warfare Group 2 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek. "There are rules against reprisal, and they were broken. It was time for the Navy to acknowledge that." The Navy IG letter says Crowston may now petition to have the bad performance report removed from his file."

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. He was wronged and he has to petition to get the unfair report amended? WTF?

    Posted by: ted | Feb 12, 2011 4:15:25 PM

  2. And THIS happened with "Don't Harass!" already on the books proving Pentagon claims gays won't need post repeal the same protections blacks, women, et al., have A BIG LIE.

    Some redneck won't bunk with/serve in the same unit with a fag? OK. A hillbilly chaplain wants to preach that God hates homosexuals? Fine. Another bigot like Cmdr. Bruen wants to punish a gay subordinate with a bad review, deny a lesbian a promotion? So be it in President Gates Land.

    Posted by: | Feb 12, 2011 5:41:58 PM

  3. Check out the Fox News spin on this - they express concern that the commander responsible for this, Cmdr Bruen, "may suffer a career ending blemish" as a result of the "complaint." They are sympathetic to HIM!

    Posted by: Tom | Feb 12, 2011 6:35:29 PM

  4. It's too bad Cranston hadvto deal with this in the first place, but so glad it's being dealt with properly now.

    @ TED: I'm pretty sure that the petition filing bit is going to be rubber stamp and just part of the standard military bureaucracy, not a further punishment.

    Posted by: David R. | Feb 12, 2011 7:26:50 PM

  5. Cdr. Bruen has had his reputation compromised by the IG finding and should no longer be qualified for command. If he isn't placed behind a desk in some Naval supply depot until retirement, he should be. I wish Ens. Cranston well, but I'm afraid knowing how the military operates this will only be a Pyrrhic victory for him.

    Posted by: Bob R | Feb 12, 2011 9:01:58 PM

  6. The thing that's even more annoying is the fact that he still need to follow up with a petition to have the incident removed from his record, as quoted from the Navy letter. Outside of that, I wouldn't mind running into a certain Mr. Steven Crawston on Grindr.. :::ahem:::

    Posted by: Arthur | Feb 12, 2011 10:26:02 PM

  7. Who is the Christopher referred to in the story??? He is not mentioned in the story except for one unexplained reference.

    Posted by: billT | Feb 13, 2011 11:40:34 AM

  8. Regarding the fact that he still has to petition to remove the complaint...

    1. This is normal for the military, and not in any way related to the subject matter.

    2. In the civillian world, once you appeal a conviction and win, it goes away. This is to make sure your right are respected as our Constitution demands. In the military world, the demands are the ability to perform the mission and ultimately the protection of the nation. That's why individual rights are a bit lower a priority in the service. Ironic as it may seem, defending the nation sometimes means voluntarily and temporarily suspending some of the rights it grants us. Having served, I know this first-hand.

    3. The Navy is getting much, much better at cracking down on discrimination, harassment, and retaliatory suppression of justice. Especially since DADT repeal passed, but also ever since Tailhook.

    Posted by: JDB | Feb 13, 2011 6:22:42 PM

  9. Michael, will you ever take "Yes" for an answer? The navy did the right thing and all you can do is whine.

    Posted by: Career | Feb 14, 2011 4:08:20 AM

Post a comment


« «Hawaii House Approves Civil Unions Bill« «