News (USA)

Charges dropped against gay service members over DADT protests

Charges dropped against gay service members over DADT protests
Choi and Pietrangelo

Prosecutors have dropped all charges against two openly gay service members who twice chained themselves to a White House fence to protest the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Lt. Dan Choi and Cpt. James Pietrangelo II had been charged with two counts of failure to obey a lawful order after they were arrested on two separate occasions back on March 18 and April 20 while protesting the military ban on openly gay service members.

Choi and Pietrangelo appeared in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday with the intent to plead not guilty and face trial when word came that the government had decided against prosecution.

Choi had subpoenaed President Obama to appear, but an attorney for the prosecution told the Associated Press that the subpoena was never served.

Prosecutor Christine Chang wasn’t able to explain the last-minute decision to drop the charges, but Choi said he believes Obama administration officials didn’t want to draw attention to the policy.

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