Julie Benson attempted to enlist this morning at the National Guard recruiting office. Her application was denied when it was discovered that she was a lesbian. When she exited the building to talk to the press, she was told she could not re-enter the building for the remainder of the day. She sat outside the office in protest however, she did not create enough of a nuisance to force an arrest even though people had to step around her. The recruitment office has been closed.
She is looking for young people (30 and younger) who would be willing to quietly sit-in with her tomorrow and create a large enough nuisance to force the recruitment officers to ask the police to clear the area. If these people would be willing to be arrested, that would even be better. However, they wouldn't have to.
Local media coverage has been great (ABC, CBS, NBC, WFYI, WIBC). She was interviewed at 7:30 AM on Abdul in the Morning (WXNT - 1430 AM) and is supposed to be on the Afternoons with Amos (WTLC - AM1310) show this afternoon.
On the noon news, the military personnel being interviewed stated they rejected her application because she didn't meet the height and weight requirement. However, Julie stated that she was never asked about this during her interview this morning. She said that this was discussed during her phone interview last week, but was told this wouldn't be a problem because many new recruits don't meet this requirement when they enlist. She was then encouraged to continue with the application process.
Persons interested in participating in this civil disobedience should contact Julie Benson or phone (317)722-0000 ext 104.
Cameras were not permitted inside the guard office as Benson tried to enlist. Benson said she was rejected because of her sexual orientation, but a guard representative said Benson was turned away because of her weight.
"I spoke with our recruiters, and she was rejected based on physical conditioning and not meeting the height-weight policy to enter into the Indiana National Guard," said Lt. Col. Deedra Thombleson.
"I was specifically told by the recruiter that I was rejected according to the policy and having outed myself because of my sexual orientation," Benson said.