Last modified: Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Discharged gay U.S. Army Lieutenant to speak at IU about 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 28, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- U.S. Army 1st Lt. Dan Choi will speak about his personal battle with the Army's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy Monday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. in Indiana University's Alumni Hall. This event is free and open to the public.
Lt. Choi, an Iraq War veteran, graduated from West Point Military Academy in 2003 and was one of the few Arabic linguists serving the U.S. Army. He served his country for nearly 10 years under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) rule. Choi announced he was gay on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" in March 2009. Following his appearance on the show, Choi received a letter alerting him that the army had begun his discharge proceedings.
Choi is a member of "Knights Out," a group of 38 West Point graduates who all declared their homosexual orientation in March as a show of force against the DADT policy. In response to his discharge, Choi wrote a letter to President Obama stating: "It is a slap in the face to my soldiers, peers and leaders who have demonstrated that an infantry unit can be professional enough to accept diversity, to accept capable leaders, to accept skilled soldiers."
"This is an issue that impacts more than just the students of Indiana University, but people all over the world," said Evan Farrell, a member of Union Board's Lectures Committee. "Attaining equality for gays and lesbians is arguably the last goal of the Civil Rights Movement, and repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell would be an important step toward achieving that goal."
By hosting speakers such as Choi, Union Board hopes to begin meaningful conversations on civil rights, equality and greater acceptance of differences. Choi will speak about his personal stance and battle against the policy, as well as accepting questions from the audience during a Q-and-A session following the lecture.
The Indiana Memorial Union Board has brought thousands of programs to the IU community since its inception in 1909. Union Board, the governing body of the Indiana Memorial Union, is composed of 16 student directors and four non-student directors who are responsible for campus programming that entertains and educates the IU community. Union Board offices are located in room 270 of the Student Activities Tower in the IMU. For more information, call 812-855-4682 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.