Dan Choi Found Guilty, Fined $100 for White House 'DADT' Protest


Dan Choi, who went back to federal court today facing six months in prison or a $5,000 fine for an obscure infraction of Parks and Wildlife federal regulations related to a November 2010 'DADT' protest at the White House, was found guilty and fined $100, the Washington Post reports:

But in court on Thursday, Choi’s erratic demeanor swung from emotional outbursts at the lectern to belligerent confrontations with a U.S. Park Police officer and the federal prosecutor. Dressed in a military uniform, Choi paced the courtroom, serving as his own lawyer.

“All I want at the end of this day is to return to the U.S. military,” Choi said through tears.

Choi, who is not trained as an attorney, alternated between whispered apologies for his teary breakdowns and loud rebukes of Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela George for failing to refer to him as a lieutenant.“Please remember where you are,” Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola cautioned after Choi used vulgar slang. “That may be appropriate in the barracks. It’s not appropriate here.”

Politic365 adds:

During the trial, Lt. Choi broke down and was carried out of the DC courtroom. He was transported to a nearby VA Hospital.

Choi was supported in court by the activists arrested with him in 2010, and by British activist Peter Tatchell. This morning Choi met his supporters at the front of the White House before heading over to his trial.

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  1. I knew from the first time i saw him on TV in 2010 that he seemed a little unhinged. PTSD?

    Posted by: HkFca | Mar 28, 2013 7:28:08 PM

  2. So much time and money to prosecute this guy and put him through hell all for a $100 fine. All the while Wall Street bankers who robbed the US Treasury and haven't served their country one day are driving around in limos and taking home multi-million dollar bonuses.

    The justice system in America is a broken mess.

    Posted by: GayCanuck | Mar 28, 2013 7:32:56 PM

  3. Let's face it. He's sort of a drama queen. And I don't even mean that as an insult.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 28, 2013 7:47:14 PM

  4. I met him two years ago, and it was unsettling. I have great admiration for the things he has accomplished, and for the courageous stand he took in coming out. But I am afraid that he has issues that need to be worked out in a private and professional setting, not public. The stark glare of a national spotlight is not conducive for resolving the kinds of stuff that he needs to sort out. I wish this guy nothing but grace, peace, and love.

    Posted by: Lars | Mar 28, 2013 7:48:50 PM

  5. What an insane waste of government resources. Somebody should be fired for pursuing this case.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Mar 28, 2013 7:51:38 PM

  6. I feel for him.
    However, for the right cause or not, he broke a law. Probably he could have pleaded it out, but he wanted the stage.
    Those who comment harshly about him-- he had his life's dream and purpose pulled out from under him, so I give him leeway.

    Posted by: Bob | Mar 28, 2013 8:06:09 PM

  7. Does he have a partner? Family? A close friend? An attorney? His "supporters" do not seem to be of much use, because he obviously needs support of a different kind. He has been through a good deal of turmoil. I sincerely hope he finds the support he needs and is able to achieve some peace and sense of settledness in his life.

    Posted by: From a Distance | Mar 28, 2013 8:09:47 PM

  8. What the hell is going on here? It sounds like he's decompensating.

    I was so impressed with Choi in the beginning, but his strange and grandstanding behavior over time started to chip away at his credibility.

    Would you take him back if you were the military?

    I think he needs rest, not a return to duty.

    Posted by: Mick | Mar 28, 2013 8:14:50 PM

  9. oh bob, could you kindly go stuff it! lt choi has great motives but as been said before, he has some serious mental health issues and the only way he seems to think he can address them is by making a martyr of himself. i think the court put this in a proper perspective, a small fine to acknowledge the larger violation he wasn't charged for, but nothing for the picayune charge he was in court for.

    i dearly hope he is given treatment and a public time out to gather his wits and face his demons... with help. i fear for his safety. i ought not make a clinical diagnosis, but i don't believe i would be going far out on a limb by guessing bi-polar disorder. this in no way reflects on his core nobility or deep intelligence, but he has a real dog and pony show going on in his head that he needs some relief from.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Mar 28, 2013 8:15:32 PM

  10. This never should have gone this far. The "friends" who have been pushing him to pursue a show trial are probably nowhere to be found at this moment. Whatever good was accomplished with his protests is now been overwhelmed by the intense feeling of sadness and hope that he will somehow get the help he needs.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 28, 2013 8:22:02 PM

  11. Great way to get reinstated.

    Posted by: greenfuzz | Mar 28, 2013 8:31:31 PM

  12. I wish Dan all the best. Dan has experienced discrimination in a very public form and it eats you alive. He has been outspoken for our community and I appreciate him fighting the battle for all of us. I hope they leave him alone now so he can heal himself.

    Posted by: Allen | Mar 28, 2013 8:58:48 PM

  13. Bye Bye Media Ho......

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Mar 28, 2013 9:03:01 PM

  14. Very sad. Clearly the trial was a very great strain upon him. At least the fine is relatively small. Like others said I sincerely hope there are others in his life who can give him some support and that he can get through this very tough time. I must say I do not think it is ever a good idea to forego professional representation at a trial where one's liberty is at stake, the outcome is never usually a good one and the strain can be phenomenal.

    Posted by: Craig Nelson | Mar 28, 2013 9:06:33 PM

  15. Bottom line: White House protesters are arrested and required to pay a $100 fine.

    Choi chose to grandstand, went off the deep end and paid the same amount as everyone else.

    He is lucky he was not found in contempt but judges understand when someone is going off the rails and begging for attention, you do not give them the bully-pulpit.

    The protest is the message. Protesting an arrest which results from a protest is dumb. Those arrests are the cost of doing business.

    The goal (DADT repeal) has been reached. This is just noise.

    As for Choi, well, there is much more to this story and we all know it.

    Time to move on and, candidly, for sites like Towleroad to stop characterizing Choi's self-immolation as martyrdom.

    He needs help along with thanks for a job well done.

    Posted by: JoshLondon | Mar 28, 2013 9:25:24 PM

  16. Letting them drive you crazy is a win for them.

    Posted by: Tom | Mar 28, 2013 9:32:03 PM

  17. Dan Choi is ready for his close-up, Mr. DeMille.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Mar 28, 2013 9:40:13 PM

  18. The poor dude. maybe it's PTSD, but he's also traumatized by his rejection by his family.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Mar 28, 2013 9:51:22 PM

  19. Dan's friends and family need to seriously advise him to get some psychological help. I don't think the military needs him back in action in what APPEARS to be his fragile psychological condition.

    Posted by: andrew | Mar 28, 2013 9:54:40 PM

  20. "During the trial, Lt. Choi broke down and was carried out of the DC courtroom. He was transported to a nearby VA Hospital."

    hahahahahahahahahahahaha (and more ha's that I'm just too lazy to type)

    What a genius way to put a period at the end of Choi's seemingly endless run-on sentence carried out these last few years: a one-hundred dollar fine. It's perfect. The court room break-down was another over-the-top attempt to the paddles back on his dying fame and revive it back into some kind of perceived relevance. Spectacularly sad.

    There's was a reason he was a 1st Lieutenant for so long and never promoted to Captain along with his peers, and it had nothing at all to do with the fact that he's gay.

    He was a deeply troubled junior leader in the Army and a deeply badly behaved leader in a movement that had no leaders at the time. Sometimes, you can't choose your leaders and in a vacuum, Dan Chois happen. That is our fault, as a community. But his behavior and the choices he made are all his. He deserved to be found guilty. He violated a lawful order. And, he deserved to be finally booted from the Army because of his demonstrated inability to behave like an Army officer. He chose to accept his commission into the Army. And - sexual orientation completely aside - along with that commission and oath came a certain obligation to uphold a character of behavior he appeared incapable of doing.

    I also happen to believe he is in need of real and sustained counseling. And, truly, hope that he receives it. He had real potential at one point. I hope he regains it.

    Posted by: Not that other Todd in DC | Mar 28, 2013 10:28:07 PM

  21. For anyone who knows Dan, there is nothing any of his "friends" can do. He's been pushed and encouraged countless times to do the right thing, but his emotional impairment and raging substance abuse issues - probably brought on by his PTSD puts him far beyond the help of his friends. What he needs is an intervention.

    Posted by: MikeJ | Mar 28, 2013 10:39:23 PM

  22. Three years ago I was speaking to a friend of Choi and I expressed my concern over how the gay media and insiders create faux heroes then toss them away when a new boy strolls by and is useful to their cause of the day. Choi is another victim of American gay culture's obession with cute young men without regard to their well being.

    Posted by: Granite | Mar 28, 2013 10:54:45 PM

  23. I agree with the comments here that this man, Lieu. Choi needs a good friend or some counselling or just someone to be there with him.....or something more than that. He has been through many overwrought experiences and anyone could easily crumble under such weight.

    As Mike J. says :"he needs an intervention."

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 28, 2013 10:59:28 PM

  24. enjoy a long and well-earned rest, brother. and thank you for standing up and speaking out and doing what so many other people give excuses to never do.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 28, 2013 11:05:45 PM

  25. God you're a bunch of hateful queens

    Posted by: Jerry | Mar 28, 2013 11:06:02 PM

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