Dan Choi

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” activist Lieutenant Dan Choi has been officially discharged from the US military because of his sexual orientation.

Choi (29), who came out as a gay soldier on television in March 2009, served as an infantry officer during the Iraq war from 2006 to 2007.

He has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s lack of progress in in repealing the US military’s 17 year old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gay and lesbian soldiers.

Last week Thursday, following the military’s more than year-long discharge process initiated by his public coming out, Choi received a call informing him that he was no longer a soldier.

“After 11 years since beginning my journey at West Point and after 17 months of serving openly as an infantry officer this is both an infuriating and painful announcement,” said Choi in a statement.

He added, however that he would continue to fight the ban: “To all those veterans who have endured similar trials and injustices or prematurely ended their military service because of the unjust policy: our fight has only begun.”

Despite President Obama’s commitment to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban this year, many are sceptical that this can be accomplished.

The Pentagon is currently engaged in a survey of military personnel to establish their views on serving with openly gay or lesbian colleagues.

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