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Don’t Ask, Don’t Live

Jim Burroway

July 1st, 2009

A sailor, August Provost of Houston, Texas, was found dead at Camp Pendleton near San Diego at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. Sources say he was shot and burned, which lead authorities to believe that it was foul play. A “person of interest” is in custody. Some believe it wasn’t an ordinary murder, but a hate crime:

Ben Gomez, head of the San Diego chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights, a national advocacy group for gay and lesbian military personnel, said he and other local activists believe Provost’s death was a hate crime. Citing unnamed sources with access to a report on the seaman’s death, 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.”

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David C.
July 1st, 2009 | LINK

This event is certain to add to the controversy over DADT and points out the essential fact that when DADT is repealed, military procedures and training will have to be in place to protect LGBT personnel from acts of hate and otherwise continue to ensure an enlarged sense of good order.

Candace
July 1st, 2009 | LINK

“Sources say he was shot and burned, which lead authorities to believe that it was foul play.”

Now that’s just brilliant to consider something wasn’t kosher when the poor man was found both SHOT and BURNED.

Where did those “sources” get thier police training? Ft. Worth?

TomChicago
July 2nd, 2009 | LINK

The depth of fear and loathing that exists in the military is only made worse by DADT. Not only does it need to be tossed, but there needs to be an enormous effort to clean up the culture of bigotry that underpins the ugly, macho sensibilities of the military.

Christopher Waldrop
July 2nd, 2009 | LINK

DADT needs to be ended, but I also wonder about this:

On his MySpace page, Provost made references to same-sex dating and identified another Houston man as “the love of my life.”

Was Provost violating DADT by making such statements? I’m not sure whether soldiers are allowed to have a “civilian” existence that’s not subject to military scrutiny, or whether that would include Facebook, MySpace, blogs, etc. I’ve heard contradictory things about the military’s treatment of soldiers who, say, commit crimes when they’re out of uniform. Of course being gay and dating someone of the same sex is not a crime.

And ultimately it doesn’t matter. It just highlights yet another reason that DADT needs to be abolished. Provost and other soldiers shouldn’t be forced to keep their sexual orientation a secret, and they definitely shouldn’t have to live in fear of being exposed or even murdered.

Christopher Waldrop
July 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Just to add something I read somewhere else (and please correct me if it isn’t true), Provost was being harassed but couldn’t report that he was being harassed because of DADT.

If that’s the case there’s another reason to end it.

Gina9223
July 2nd, 2009 | LINK

I’m a 20 year Navy vet. I know a few answers to the stated questions in the comments.

A member of the military DOES have a right to a civilian life and a right to privacy the same as you do. We can blog, twitter what have you. We are not allowed to note movemnts of perssonel or material or take photos of certian areas.

If a person is being harassed for any reason its an actionable offence. Even if its a senior member subjecting a junior member to harassment. (if its a generic buttchewing due to job or professional performace, the SR gets to scream until he turns red if thats what it takes results)

Did I experiance harassment? bigotry? hatred? You bet, its the military I think its an unwritten requirement to have at least 3 major haters in any command.

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