Almost exactly ten years to the day after Army PFC Barry Winchell was brutally murdered at Ft Campbell because some fellow soldiers “thought” he was gay, yet another savage killing for seemingly the same reason has happened at Camp Pendleton.
Barry wasn’t even gay, despite his having become a martyr for the movement to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law. He was in love with a transgender woman. Out of pure profoundly ignorant hate, he was beaten to death in his sleep with a baseball bat by a soldier whose hate had been inflamed by official cadence calls that urged soldiers to “kill fags.”
Now we must sadly examine the fate of Navy Seaman August Provost, an African American sailor, who apparently had been rudely accused earlier the same night of being gay by a person now being questioned by the authorities.
A July 1st article at SanDiego6.com reported, “Citing unnamed sources with access to a report on the seaman’s death, [Ben] Gomez said Provost was killed during an argument with another sailor over the victim’s sexual orientation.
On his MySpace page, Provost made references to same-sex dating and identified another Houston man as ‘the love of my life.'”
According to an article posted at NBCSanDiego.com, the station which originally broke the story, “sources also said the victim was shot and burned.”
Little else is actually known as of this writing. What we do know is that such bigotry is rather rare in today’s American armed forces. A hate killing in the military has not happened for nearly a decade. In today’s armed forces, gay people often serve openly “Out” to peers who only care about performance on duty, not who someone loves.
What has not changed however, is the DADT policy which prevents service members from reporting harassment and bigotry, because they would then be suspect and questioned, investigated and discharged if they happen to actually be homosexual or bisexual. It is the policy itself that puts our patriotic service members at risk, that distorts and, in some cases, destroys unit morale when fellow soldiers are singled out as targets of hatred by a minority of bigots who do not deserve to wear an American uniform.
“A stop loss order from President Obama now,” according to AVER President Navy Chief Jim Donovan [Ret.], “to halt LGBT investigations and discharges, would not only preserve the presence of critical service members, it would allow them to report threats and harrassment just as any other minority in our armed forces, without the fear of losing their careers, a very real fear which too many silently endure at present. It is no different than troops reporting discriminatory behavior based on gender, race, or religion, or our female troops reporting Military Sexual Trauma.”
We urge all Americans to call upon the President to stop discharging LGBT service members. Bigotry against any patriotic American service member is no longer acceptable.