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WEST POINT, NY, June 5, 2009 –
The following statement was released today from Knights Out
Knights Out, an organization of 400 straight and gay West Point graduates, former staff and faculty, and allies, respectfully calls on our President to sign a stop-loss order immediately to allow Lieutenant Dan Choi, and all other gay and lesbian soldiers, to continue to serve without risk of expulsion under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
Expelling gay and lesbian soldiers compromises military readiness. These are soldiers we need to win our wars.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" compromises unit cohesion. Forcing soldiers to lie about who they are, and who their families are, tears down trust, and erodes the bonds that make military units strong. Knightsout.jpg
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is dishonorable. Integrity and honor are, and should be, central to our military code. The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy forces soldiers to choose between their honor and their military duty.
We are confident that our military leaders and soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines will manage this change with the professionalism that marks the finest military in the world.
Mr. President, we call on you as our Commander-in-Chief to exercise your leadership and sign a stop-loss order today allowing our gay and lesbian soldiers to serve without compromising their honor.
Knights Out was formed by a group of gay and lesbian West Pointers in March of this year, and member Lieutenant Dan Choi – an active duty Infantry officer, Iraq vet, and Arabic speaker – has been notified that he will be discharged for coming out as gay.
Knights Out is a group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender alumni of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. www.knightsout.org