President Obama: Don't Force Lt. Dan Choi and Other Gay Soldiers to Pay for their DADT Discharges
  • Petitioned Department of Defense

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Department of Defense

President Obama: Don't Force Lt. Dan Choi and Other Gay Soldiers to Pay for their DADT Discharges

    1. Michael Jones
    2. Petition by

      Michael Jones

      Boston, MA

Lt. Dan Choi served his country with honor in Iraq as an American infantry officer in the U.S. Army. But in June 2010, Lt. Choi was officially discharged from the Army, after coming out as gay on an episode of the Rachel Maddow Show. Now, months after being discharged for violating the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, the Department of Defense wants to charge Lt. Choi more than $2,500, to make up the cost of "the unearned portion" of his enlistment bonus.

That's right, the Department of Defense wants Lt. Choi to pay the military back for unfinished service -- service that Lt. Choi was unable to complete because the military kicked him out for being gay.

Turns out this is a common problem for LGBT soldiers discharged from the military under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Former Air Force ROTC Cadet Mara Boyd was asked to pay back more than $30,000 after she was discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." And many others have faced similar bills, despite the fact that their service was cut short due to the military's discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

As Scott Wooledge points out at DailyKos, Lt. Choi is taking a firm stand, writing President Obama an open letter where he says that he will not pay the military back for being discharged.

"It would be easy to pay the $2500 bill and be swiftly done with this diseased chapter of my life, where I sinfully deceived and tolerated self-hatred under Don't Ask Don't Tell," Choi said. "My obligations to take a stand, knowing all the continued consequences of my violations, are clear. I refuse to pay your claim."

Stand with Lt. Choi, and tell the President and the Department of Defense that charging gay soldiers for being discharged from the military is ruthless and wrong. While "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" might be headed for extinction, it's clear that the policy's negative impact continues to be felt by dedicated American soldiers and veterans.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 5,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Kimi H STAFFORD, VA
      • over 2 years ago

      As a military spouse this shames me that they even think that they have the right to ask anything of them after they kicked them out for being themselves. Being Human and loving who they love.

    • dylan spears PORT CLINTON, OH
      • over 2 years ago

      Discharging therm who helped keep you free and safe? N

    • Kevin Black NORFOLK, VA
      • over 2 years ago

      As a member of the US military, I am ashamed of the DOD for doing this.

    • Sarah Hudson ALAMEDA, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      It truly is time that equality should be recognized everywhere in this nation! I am currently fighting for equality at the federal level because my wife has been denied health benefits under my family health plan. Please take a look and sign my petition at:

    • james westerhof FULTON, IL
      • over 2 years ago

      Since the law (DADT) has been repealed and declared unconstitutional, how then can the US Gov't claim that these illegally discharged Veterans owe the Gov't money? This is utter nonsense! It is just totally wrong to persecute these persons who have served with honor and have been willing to make the supreme sacrifice for our country. I too have served with honor but I had to live a lie. Sgt. James L. Westerhof, USAF (1971-1977)


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