Bil Browning

Nevermind queer!

Filed By Bil Browning | May 11, 2007 9:45 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, Jason Knight, LGBT community, military, Navy, Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund

In the NavyRemember the sailor I blogged about on Monday? The Navy dismissed Jason Knight for being gay and then called him back to active duty. Knight returned to duty, was sent to Kuwait and has been serving openly and proudly since being recalled - after all, the Navy obviously knew he was gay, he'd already told once! (No, that's not him in the picture. It was just the first thing that popped up for clipart on "In the Navy" and that made me laugh.)

Then the Navy newspaper, Stars and Stripes, ran an article about him that quoted his officers and squad members saying good things about him. And then other news networks came calling. The story just kept getting bigger and the sailor did an interview with Pam's House Blend even! But, whatever, because after all, the Navy knew he was gay!

Since Knight was days away from completing his tour of duty, even Stars and Stripes reported:

Navy personnel officials declined to comment on personnel cases in particular. But one official, speaking on background, said his reading of the policy wouldn't preclude a second discharge for Knight. Though, the source said, it was more likely the Navy would simply allow his short-term active-duty recall to expire.

Knight's current orders, issued on June 6, 2006, call for him to be on active duty for 365 days. Knight said he wants to complete that service and is even looking for ways to return to active duty full time, perhaps through the officers candidate school.

I mean, the Navy already has egg on its face for kicking him out as "undesirable," and then wanted him back - and even promoted him since he was highly qualified and well recommended by superiors. So why would they want to act like bigger assholes?

Well, apparently they do. Yup. They're kicking him out. Knight was notified yesterday that he will be receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy based, in part, on his recent media interviews. I mean, are we surprised that the military is discharging a gay servicemember? Shocker! No. But did I think that they'd go out of their way to look like dumbasses? Naw. I thought they'd do like the government always does - wait two weeks and hope it goes away...

According to Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund:

Knight, a trained Hebrew linguist, was re-called to active duty and served with Naval Customs Battalion Romeo in Kuwait. He told Stars & Stripes that, having 'come out' to his command during his previous enlistment, he saw no reason to hide his sexual orientation. Many of his colleagues spoke to the newspaper in support of him. "The Navy tends to keep people who don't want to be here, but Jason does," Petty Officer 1st Class Tisha Hanson told the paper. "(I)t doesn't bother me."

"I have now spent five years in the Navy, and I have loved every minute of it," Knight said today. "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."

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A. J. Lopp | May 24, 2007 8:17 PM

I'm a bit confused ... if the military discharges someone, doesn't the military thereby forfeit their ability to call that person back into active duty? I mean, once a soldier is fully discharged, then he or she is no longer a member of the military, right?

This is really fishy ... no Navy pun intended ... and highly illegal, too, it appears to me.

If DADT is in force, then it is intrinsically illegal for him or anyone to serve openly, right? (There is no provision within DADT that gives the military the right or choice to exercise discretion and "waive" the requirement to discharge someone who is openly known to be homosexual.) ... And if he's been discharged, it's illegal for the Navy to call him back, right?

I ... think ... I'm ... getting ... seasick ...