Darren Manzella is discharged…
H/Tto Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report for this update.
If your not familiar with his name or the issue, let me give you the history of this wonderful man. In December Army Sgt. Darren Manzella was interviewed on 60 Minutes by Leslie Stahl. He is a gay man and he has been openly gay throughout his military service. He is a medic in Baghdad, or was…past tense is now in order. But I digress…
Sgt. Manzella has earned combat medals for his work under fire people.. for his service to America. He started getting threatening emails about his ‘gay-ness’. He felt he had no choice but to inform his commanding officer. From the 60-Minutes transcript:
He went for help to his commanding officer, and in the process, told him – as in don’t ask don’t tell – that he was gay. The officer in turn told Manzella he’d have to report him.
“He did report me, yes,” Manzella says. “I had to go see my battalion commander, who read me my rights.”
“So, what you did, in effect, by telling him, was trigger the investigation you feared was underway?” Stahl asks.
Amazingly nothing happened. He submitted physical evidence which included him kissing his boyfriend to the commanding officer. From the 60-Minutes transcript again:
Manzella didn’t hold anything back in the investigation, submitting photos of himself and A.J., and a video of a road trip, including passionate kissing. But when the investigation ended, Manzella says he was told to go back to work. “There was no evidence of homosexuality and go back to work,” he says.(emphasis mine)
Darren is in a critical job, the Army couldn’t afford to lose him. So they did nothing about his openly gay status until the 60-Minutes story went global. They then saw no choice but to discharge him. This travesty makes me physically ill. It makes me sick to my stomach people. Steve Benen’s take on this is my pov as well:
John McCain recently said gay people in the military represent an “intolerable risk” to unit morale, cohesion, and discipline.
I’m curious. Which poses the great risk, Manzella being deployed and serving honorably, or Manzella not being deployed? Which is better for the troops? Which does more to help those in uniform? Which leaves the military stronger, and which leaves it weaker?
McCain’s sorry ass better not get to sit in that Oval Office chair..not on my watch damn it. Darren Manzella is a good man, an asset to our military both in and out of war. He is a wonderful human being my dear reader.
Yet the bigots and the bastards can’t get past his being a gay man. A label that means nothing in the big picture of life. A label that can ruin a life and/or a career when the bigots and the bastards find out about your sexual orientation.
They all make me sick and tired of the bullshittery. This has to stop. This has to stop..this has to fucking stop!
Crossposted at Sirens Chronicles.