Huzzah. Another ridiculous DADT discharge story.
Rapid City, S.D.
Jene Newsome played by the rules as an Air Force sergeant: She never told anyone in the military she was a lesbian. The 28-year-old's honorable discharge under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy came only after police officers in Rapid City, S.D., saw an Iowa marriage certificate in her home and told the nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base.
Linky (sorry about the yahoo news story, I couldn't find it on AP's website)
More below the fold...
Police officers, who said they spotted the marriage license on the kitchen table through a window of Newsome's home, alerted the base, police Chief Steve Allender said in a statement sent to the AP. The license was relevant to the investigation because it showed both the relationship and residency of the two women, he said.
Wow, so the police come to your house, see your marriage certificate and tell the people at the Air Force base? Where is the right to privacy? Seriously this story is really, really fucked up. The police came to her house to serve an arrest warrant for her partner, which is cool with me...But why the fuck would the police department go OUT OF THEIR FUCKING WAY to report the marriage license to the Ellsworth Air Force base? Gay/lesbian marriage is FUCKING LEGAL in Iowa, and yet the police department deemed it necessary to out this woman to her employer, who just HAPPENS to have a fucking DISCRIMINATORY policy against the GLBT community? I call bullshit on that.
Here is the what the by Chief of Police Steve Allender had to say about the issue
"It's an emotional issue and it's unfortunate that Newsome lost her job, but I disagree with the notion that our department might be expected to ignore the license, or not document the license, or withhold it from the Air Force once we did know about it," Allender said Saturday. "It was a part of the case, part of the report and the Air Force was privileged to the information."
Really? Did you really have to include the fact that there was a marriage certificate in their house? How the fuck was that pertinent information to the case? This, at least to me, is a clear case of police misconduct, but there are two parties to this story. The Air Force could have not discharged this poor woman, who has done everything right in her career besides have a partner that was 1. A woman, and 2. Had 3 Misdemeanors from alaska. The Air Force could have reinstated her once they found out that the process of repealing "Dont ask, Dont tell" was coming down from US Military leadership. They did neither. They acted in discriminating against an airman who has done nothing wrong but love someone.
At least someone has Jene's back though...
The South Dakota division of the ACLU has filed a complaint against the Rapid City, South Dakota police department...
"This information was intentionally turned over because of 'don't ask, don't tell' and to out Jene so that she would lose her military status." said Robert Doody, executive director of ACLU South Dakota.
The ACLU is completely right here. They turned this information over to out Jene in the most heinous of ways. This whole situation is just really really sad. Here we have someone who has done nothing wrong except love her country, and want to serve, and the USAF and the Police Department in Rapid City have colluded with each other to make sure that this person is in effect fired from the job she loves. By all accounts, Jene was a good airman, and yet she is discharged for absolutely nothing. In my opinion this is not only a miscarriage of justice, but its a waste of money (it costs a lot to train someone to take her position at the base), and a waste of resources.
As a veteran of the USAF, I can absolutely say that NO ONE I knew ever had a problem with Gays/Lesbians serving along side of them. I knew at least 5 people in the Air Force who were Gay or lesbian, and with the exception of some bible thumpers, they were accepted and well received by my unit. The time for discrimination in this country is done. Enough is enough. STOP FREAKING DISCHARGING GOOD SOLDIERS JUST BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY DO IN THEIR BEDROOM. IT IS DISCRIMINATION, AND IT IS WRONG
Thanks for listening to my rant, this really had my blood boiling earlier. My blood pressure has gone down substantially since then...
I will end with the quote from Jene Newsome that gave me chills
"I felt like it was getting close," she said. "I was really hopeful."
Sad, motherfucking sad.
Update: Please email the Rapid City mayor and tell him what you think of this (h/t ExSt8)