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Fort Leonard Wood Is No Gay Haven

Fort Leonard Wood, an Army base in Missouri, has used the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to discharge 60 people in the past year, more than any other military facility. This information comes from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

From The Washington Post

The advocacy group, which advises military personnel on the gay policy, obtained the information through a Freedom of Information Act request. Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke confirmed that the Defense Department provided the information to the advocacy group.

The second-highest number of discharges were at Fort Campbell, a sprawling Army base on the Kentucky-Tennessee line. But the 49 people dismissed there, up from 19 in 2004, also represented the single-biggest increase in discharges anywhere.

The Pentagon has said there were 726 military members discharged under the policy last year, up 11 percent from the year before, but did not publicly release base-specific information.

The data provided to the legal advocacy group showed the Norfolk, Va., naval base had the third highest number of gay dismissals in 2005, with 35 people leaving under the policy. The Fort Benning Army base in Georgia was next with 31 discharges.

The Pentagon policy, which went into effect in 1994 following passage of congressional legislation, prohibits the military from inquiring about the sex lives of service members but requires those who openly acknowledge being gay to be discharged.

Neither the White House nor the Pentagon has given any indication of dropping their long-standing support for the policy.

In April, Gay Rights Watch reported on the possibility of repealing the ban. No more progress has been made.

Posted by Ace

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