This just in; There is apparently a long history of gay cadets just down the Hudson River at the prestigious West Point Military Academy in Highland Falls, NY. According to a story that was posted today by CBS and the Associated Press, a group of U.S. Military Academy graduates came out of the closet Monday in a bid to overturn the ban on gays in the military and help West Point create an environment of tolerance and acceptance as they educate future officers; this was first reported by the Military Times.
The 38-member “Knights Out” organization contacted the military academy’s administration seeking to provide an “open forum” for gay troops and Army leaders. The actions of the group fly in the face of The Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that was instituted after President Bill Clinton tried to lift the ban on gay service members in 1993. It refers to the military practice of not asking recruits their sexual orientation. In turn, service members are banned from saying they are gay or bisexual, engaging in homosexual activity or trying to marry a member of the same sex.
Since it was implemented, 12,500 soldiers have been discharged, according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which has actively lobbied for the law’s repeal, reports the Military Times.
Knights Out joins similar groups formed by graduates of the U.S. Naval and Air Force academies. Most of those groups’ members are also in the ranks of the Service Academy Gay and Lesbian Alumni social network, reports the paper. Knights Out claims that some active-duty commanders serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are among the network’s members.
Hmmm… Maybe we should plan a Big Gay field trip to West Point for a tour later this Spring?