Jason Knight, the petty officer second class who made headlines last week after an article in the military’s Stars & Stripes newspaper revealed that the officer had been called back to active duty even after telling military officials that he annulled his marriage because he was gay, has been discharged from service.
Knight was notified yesterday that because of his recent media interviews, his services will no longer be required.
Said Sharra E. Greer, director of law and policy for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN): “Jason Knight was an exemplary sailor who gladly returned to active duty when our country needed him. Now, despite his dedication and service, and the praise of those he served alongside, the Navy has decided to fire him because he dared to tell his story and put a public face to the courage of lesbian and gay service personnel. Our nation should be embarrassed that our armed forces are forced to respond to Knight’s selfless service with a government-sanctioned pink slip. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ silences lesbians and gays and attempts to make them invisible. Because Knight refused invisibility, he will now be fired.”
Knight also responded publicly to his dismissal: “I have now spent five years in the Navy, and I have loved every minute of it. It is unfortunate that in our country, which prides itself on being a beacon of liberty to the world, discrimination is still alive and well, even in our own government. I am proud to be among the one million gay veterans who have answered the call to duty, and I look forward to working alongside them to topple this un-American and counter-productive law.”
In a Q&A published yesterday on Pam’s House Blend, Knight said that his recall was the result of a paperwork snafu and not because the military needed a qualified person back in the ranks despite a DADT discharge. Knight: “They had a two week window to process me out and took the easier of two routes.”