Following a very long hearing, an army discharge board has recommended firing 1Lt. Dan Choi today in Syracuse, New York. The one and only reason for this decision is that Lt. Choi is gay.
At 2:50pm, while the board was still deliberating, Lt. Choi shared the following via KnightsOut.org:
Still awaiting their verdict… I’ve received support text messages from around the world, and most importantly the members of my unit. My statement talked about Army values of integrity and sending a message from Knights Out to all the deployed soldiers or anyone who feels isolated, that indeed NO soldier stands alone. (Outside the hearing room is a poster with that exact message.) I also said I am gay. I refused to lie, and told them I refuse to stay silent, particularly since the soldiers in my unit respect honesty above personal gain. I recited the Iraqi poem of historic fame and of course translated it myself. In Arabic English and transliterated English. I presented the total 260,000 support letters and signatures to include statements by generals, admirals, and congressmen. I refuse to go quietly, and explained this as my duty.
Some time later, the post was updated with this:
About three hours of deliberation and no verdict yet. Every witness on both sides said I was an asset to the unit and the only evidence were statements of homosexuality . My statement included Arabic poem, I am gay, refuse to lie, my duty to ensure the message to every gay soldier that they are not alone.
Tonight at 6:49PM, Knights Out chair Becky Kanis released an email to Knights Out members confirming that the recommendation is official. According to Syracuse.com, this is not quite a final decision:
The recommendation is not a final decision. Another recommendation will be made by the Commander of the First Army, a regional branch of the army. The chief of the National Guard Bureau has the final decision.
It should be noted that board recommendations are rarely overruled, and such an action is unprecedented in the case of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.