Friday, January 06, 2006

Beaten and harassed gay Soldier now discharged from Army

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According to an article published by, 19 year old Army Private Kyle Lawson has finally been discharged from the United States Army. This, of course, comes after the brutal harassment and beatings he endured while serving at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. PVT Lawson was "outed" at an off-post party in October 2005, when a friend let another person know about Lawson's sexual orientation. I have posted about this particular case numerous times in the past, as has Anonymous Soldier over at An Army of 1 in 10. PVT Lawson was beaten and harassed repeatedly, eventually forcing him, for reasons of safety, to sleep on a cot in his drill sargeant's office. Congressman Barney Frank, along with members of the public, are waiting for answers from the military. How could this happen, especially after the military, in 2000, promised to cut down on homophobia and harassment after the 1999 beating death of another gay soldier in 2000? Congressman Frank sent a letter to Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker criticizing him for how Lawson's case was handled. According to the article:
"According to unchallenged reports, the local police believed the attack to be a criminal assault, with no justification such as self-defense," Frank said his letter to Gen. Schoomaker. "Despite this, apparently at the request of the Army over which you preside, no charges were filed against the assailant and the consequence is that Private Lawson was doubly victimized, once by the assailant, and then by having to leave the Army in the absence of any action by those under your command to protect him."
This is a very sad state of affairs. Our proud and honorable Army can no longer claim to be proud and honorable when soldiers start attacking their fellow soldiers. When friends tunr into foes and fellow soldiers become two opposing sides in a war, the Army has lost its honor. There is no honor in American Soldier-on-Soldier violence rooted in homophobia, bigotry and hate. That is un-American... hate and bigotry go against everything that makes America what it is. Even the basis of our project in Democracy - Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness - is undermined by hate and bigotry. I have said this many times, but "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" needs to go. Please, please, please call your Representatives in the House and Senate... tell them to support the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (for more information read Anonymous Soldier's post on MREA). Previous posts regarding PVT Kyle Lawson: Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,