Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Appeals Court Reinstates 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Gay Military Service Members Must Again Hide Sexual Orientation

A federal appeals court Wednesday reinstated "don't ask, don't tell," the military's policy forbidding openly gay troops from serving.

A three-judge panel granted the Justice Department's emergency request to allow the policy to remain on the books so that the appeals court could have more time to fully consider the issues presented.

A Pentagon spokeswoman applauded the panel's decision.

"For the reasons stated in the government's submission, we believe a stay is appropriate," said the spokeswoman, Cynthia Smith.

On the other side, an attorney for a gay rights group pushing to change the policy suggested today's reversal would be only temporary.

"While we are disappointed with the court's ruling granting a temporary administrative stay, we view the decision as nothing more than a minor setback," said Dan Woods, a partner at the law firm White & Case, which is representing Log Cabin Republicans in Log Cabin Republicans vs United States of America.

"We didn't come this far to quit now, and we expect that once the Ninth Circuit has received and considered full briefing on the government's application for a stay, it will deny that application, and the district court's injunction, which it entered after hearing all the evidence in the case, will remain in place until the appeal is finally decided," Woods said.

On Oct. 12, California District Court Judge Virginia Phillips issued a worldwide ban on the policy, and shortly thereafter the Department of Defense said it would abide by the judge's order.

Ousted Gay Veteran Tries to Re-Enlist in ArmyJudge Halts Ban on Openly Gay U.S. Troops'Don't Ask' Ruling Puts Obama in a BindThat meant the policy no longer was in effect from Oct. 12 until today's ruling, meaning gay and lesbian troops and recruits temporarily did not have to hide their sexual orientation.

But gay rights advocates urged caution to those serving, warning that the policy could be reinstated at any time.

"The bottom line: If you come out now, it can be used against you in the future by the Pentagon," Aubrey Sarvis of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said in a statement. "As the DOJ fights to keep this unconstitutional and oppressive law, we are monitoring active-duty clients' cases and fielding calls every day to our hotline."

In court papers, lawyers for the Obama administration urged the appeals court to lift the ban on enforcement of "don't ask, don't tell" because it would cause the government "irreparable injury" and "short-circuit" a comprehensive review process of the policy currently under way at the Department of Defense.

They argued it would also interfere with other pending litigation in other federal courts, and it would cause confusion among the troops.

"A stay pending appeal," government lawyers wrote, "would obviate the confusion and uncertainty that might be caused by temporary implementation of the district court's injunction, with the looming possibility that the statutory policy could be reinstated on appeal."

But lawyers for the Log Cabin Republicans, which brought the case to court, argued against a stay.

"Each argument that the government asserts as a basis for a stay," they said, "has already been raised to the district court, which rejected them all -- not cursorily, or in passing at an oral argument, but in extensive reasoned opinions at multiple stages of the proceedings below."

The Obama administration already has notified the appeals

I LOVE LaBron! He did nothing wrong except play great bsketball.

LeBron James shares hateful tweets

MIAMI -- LeBron James started his own Twitter account in July because he wanted to be more in touch with fans and, as it has turned out, his non-fans.

" I just want you guys to see it also. To see what type of words that are said toward me and towards us as professional athletes. Everybody thinks it is a bed of roses and it's not."

To illustrate that sometimes unpleasant interaction, James took the unusual step of retweeting some hateful Twitter messages to his 900,000 followers on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday, the Miami Heat star said he did it to show people what he deals with on a daily basis.

James published three negative tweets on his feed including one that was racially charged.

"I just want you guys to see it also," James said after the Heat's practice Wednesday afternoon. "To see what type of words that are said toward me and towards us as professional athletes. Everybody thinks it is a bed of roses and it's not."

In one message a person wrote that James is "a big nosed big lipped bug eyed (racial slur). Ur greedy, u try to hide ur ghettoness."

Last month in an interview with CNN, James said that he felt some of the backlash aimed at him after his decision to sign with the Heat was racially based.

In another message James made public he was called a "fraud" and a "bitch" and in another tweet the writer wrote "why don't u speak by laying ur head under a moving car."

James often retweets messages from friends and fans but they are usually positive ones. But he said he reads the negative messages for motivational purposes.

"You're always going to have people who love you and who hate you," James said. "I have enough motivation but I can always use a little more."

Brian Windhorst

Phew! 2012 Doomsday Date May Be Wrong

Doomsday believers, you might be able to breathe
a sigh of relief.

The much-hyped "prediction" that, according to
the ancient Mayan calendar, the world will end on D
ec. 21, 2012, may be based on a miscalculation.

According to recent research, the mythological
date of the "end of days" may be off by 50 to 100

To convert the ancient Mayan calendar to the
Gregorian (or modern) calendar, scholars use a
numerical value (called the GMT). But Gerardo
Aldana, a professor at the University of California,
Santa Barbara, says the data supporting the
widely-adopted conversion factor may be invalid.

In a chapter in the book "Calendars and Years II:
Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval
World," Aldana casts doubt on the accuracy of the
Mayan calendar correlation, saying that the 2012
prophecy as well as other historical dates may be

"One of the principal complications is that there
are really so few scholars who know the
astronomy, the epigraphy and the archeology,"
Aldana said in a UCSB press release. "Because
there are so few people who are working on that,
you get people who don't see the full scope of the
problem. And because they don't see the full
scope, they buy things they otherwise wouldn't. It's
a fun problem."

Researcher Questions Accuracy of Mayan
Calendar's 2012 Prophecy and Other Dates

The GMT constant, named for early Mayan
scholars Joseph Goodman, Juan Martinez-
Hernandez and J. Eric S. Thompson, is partly based
on astronomical events. Those early Mayanists
relied heavily on dates found in colonial
documents written in Mayan languages and
recorded in the Latin alphabet, the release said.

A later scholar, American linguist and
anthropologist Floyd Lounsbury, further supported
the GMT constant.

But, through his research reconstructing Mayan
astronomical practices and reviewing data in the
archeological record, the release said Aldana
found weaknesses in Lounsbury's work that cause
the argument behind the GMT constant to fall
"like a stack of cards."

"This may not seem to be much, but what it does
is destabilize the entire argument," he said.

"A few scholars have stood up and said, 'No, the
GMT is wrong,'" Aldana said. "But in my opinion,
what they've done is try to provide alternatives
without looking at why the GMT is wrong in the
first place."

advertisement Phew! 2012 Doomsday Date May Be Wrong
Mayan Calendar's Doomsday Date May Be Off by 50 to 100 years, Research Shows
Despite research undercutting the 2012
apocalypse hype, films, websites and books will
likely continue to drive "end of days" mania to a
fever pitch.

A crop of iPhone applications count down to (or
capitalize on) the 2012 apocalypse, several
websites boast countdown clocks and 2012 news,
and, of course, there's been the march of movies
cashing in on the interest in eschatology, or the
study of the end of times.

Robert Thompson, professor of media and popular
culture at Syracuse University, said the interest
has been escalating since the advent of the 21st

"When we got to the millennium, people tended to
get exorcised to mark the end of time," he told

For some, the Y2K scare and then 9/11 provided
proof that the end is near. The tsunami in the
Indian Ocean and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as
well as the 2008 near-collapse of the world
financial institutions only added more fuel to the

But the Mayan predictions have held the most
sway with believers.

At the height of that Mesoamerican civilization
from 300 to 900 A.D., advanced mathematics and
primitive astronomy flourished, creating what
many have called the most accurate calendar in
the world.

The Mayans predicted a final event that included a
solar shift, a Venus transit and violent

ABC News

Yes, Virginia your husband is a bastard! Anita Hill updater.

Virginia Thomas seeks apology from Anita Hill

It is one of Washington's enduring mysteries.

Nearly two decades after Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his fractious Supreme Court confirmation hearing, it remains unclear who was lying.

Hill has maintained that she told the truth. Thomas, meanwhile, has steadfastly denied her accusations.

Now, Virginia Thomas, the justice's wife, has rekindled the controversy by leaving a voice mail message at Hill's Brandeis University office seeking an apology.

"Good morning Anita Hill, it's Ginni Thomas," said the message left this month, according to a transcript provided by ABC News. "I just want to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometimes and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband."

"I certainly thought the call was inappropriate," Hill, who worked for Clarence Thomas at the Department of Education and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions, said in a statement released by Brandeis, where she is a professor.

"I have no intention of apologizing because I testified truthfully about my experience and I stand by that testimony," she added.

Hill told reporters that she held onto the voice mail message for nearly a week as she weighed whether it was legitimate. Eventually, she turned it over to campus police with a request that it be sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI's Boston field office declined comment.

In her Senate testimony, Hill said that Thomas would make sexual comments to her at work, including references to scenes in hard-core pornographic films. Thomas angrily denied the allegations, memorably saying they amounted to a "high-tech lynching."

But Lillian McEwen, a former Senate Judiciary Committee lawyer who said she dated Clarence Thomas from 1979 through the mid-1980s, told The Washington Post in an interview that Hill's long-ago description of Thomas's behavior resonated with her.

"The Clarence I know was certainly capable not only of doing the things that Anita Hill said he did, but it would be totally consistent with the way he lived his personal life then," said McEwen, who is writing her own memoir but has never before publicly discussed her relationship with Clarence Thomas.

McEwen also told the Post she was not surprised that Virginia Thomas would leave Hill a message, even after all these years.

"In his autobiography, Clarence described himself as a person incapable of doing what Anita Hill said he did," McEwen said. "He is married to a woman who is loyal to him and religious in a way he would like to be. This combination of religiosity and loyalty and belief that he is really the kind of person who he describes in his book would just about compel her to do something like that."

The message Virginia Thomas left for Hill again revealed the emotional toll that the Hill hearings took on the soon-to-be justice's wife. In the past, she has made unsolicited phone calls to voice support for people whose reputations have been shaken by what she sees as false accusations.

In 1999, she called Washington Post reporter Tom Jackman after he wrote a front-page article about a Virginia man falsely accused of being a sex pervert. Weeping, she told Jackman that the story reminded her of the ordeal she and her husband had endured. "My husband's name is Clarence Thomas," she said.

And when author David Brock - once hailed by the right for penning a book critical of Anita Hill - was pilloried for renouncing the book he had written, it was Virginia Thomas who came to his defense. She left Brock a long voice message saying that she was praying for him and that nobody should have his name smeared like Brock's was.

At the same time, Thomas, a longtime conservative activist who now heads Liberty Central, a nonprofit group aimed at stopping what she calls the "power grabbing" of the Obama administration, has been consistent in her criticism of Hill.

In an interview she and her husband did with People Magazine just before Thomas ascended to the high court, she said of Hill: "In my heart I always believed she was probably someone in love with my husband who never got what she wanted."

In a statement released this week to the Associated Press, Mrs. Thomas said she did not intend to offend Hill with the voice mail. "I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get passed (sic) what happened so long ago," Thomas said in the statement. "That offer still stands, I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same."

Michael A. Fletcher
Washington Post

America's Worst Credit Card & the LOSER is - FIRST PREMIER BANK

America's Worst Credit Card
Huge interest rates, high fees, and a black eye from Consumers Union: First Premier Bank ranks as the country’s most dangerous plastic. Philip Shenon reports on the Fed’s new crackdown.

The beleaguered credit-card customers of First Premier Bank of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, probably have a bone to pick with President Obama.

In February, the president announced sweeping reforms in the credit-card industry that would “hold the credit-card companies accountable” and end “deceptive, unfair tactics that hit responsible consumers with unreasonable costs.”

So why is First Premier Bank, which markets its credit cards nationwide, still being allowed to promote a so-called “subprime” MasterCard that carries a whopping 59.9 percent annual interest rate, charges $120 in first-year fees and limits a customer’s credit line to $300?

The First Premier Bank MasterCard was named the nation’s worst credit card last week by Consumers Union, the non-profit group that publishes Consumer Reports magazine. And it is a tawdry distinction that First Premier (corporate motto: “Treating people the way we want to be treated”) almost captured two years ago. The same credit card was on the magazine’s “worst cards” list in 2008.

“Some customers who are not terribly sophisticated are still being taken to the cleaners by the fine print,” says Travis Plunkett of the Consumer Federation of America.

The South Dakota bank and its business model got more unwelcome attention on Tuesday, when the Federal Reserve announced a series of new rules that would slash the fees that First Premier and other banks can charge on credit cards, blocking fees that exceed 25 percent of a card’s initial credit limit—no more than $75 in total fees, for example, on First Premier’s $300 credit limit. The Fed did not say if its announcement was prompted by last week’s action by Consumers Union.

First Premier executives defend themselves by arguing to The Daily Beast that they are doing a service to financially troubled customers who otherwise could not obtain any sort of credit card.

But the card’s huge interest rate and high fees are a reminder that—despite congressional passage of the 2009 Credit Card Act, hailed by the Obama administration as a way to end the worst abuses of the credit-card industry—unsuspecting consumers may find themselves the victims of banks and other lenders eager to entrap them in a cycle of never-ending debt.

Despite the new law, many of industry’s abuses continue, said Travis Plunkett, legislative director of the Consumer Federation of America.

“Some customers who are not terribly sophisticated are still being taken to the cleaners by the fine print,” he tells The Daily Beast, adding that First Premier is not alone among credit-card issuers that continue to charge “something close to loan-shark interest rates,” as well as high upfront fees, on customers struggling in the recession.

A search of websites comparing credit-card offers shows several others that have interest rates and fees in the same ballpark as those of First Premier, which markets cards under sister organization Premier Bankcard.

Although First Premier is not well known nationally, it is a minor powerhouse in the credit-card industry, with more than 3.5 million customers around the country. It is the nation’s 10th-largest issuer of cards branded with the Visa or MasterCard logos.

The bank acknowledges in promotional material that it aims for customers who “find themselves faced with bad credit sometimes due to illness, divorce, loss of job, or other tough circumstances.”

Three years ago, the bank agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle charges brought by the New York State Attorney General’s office that First Premier had deceptively marketed its high-fee credit cards. The bank said at the time that its policies were no different from those of other credit-card issuers and that it had ended the allegedly abusive practices years earlier.

In Washington, lobbyists for the banking industry, buffeted by new scandals linked to the possibly illegal mass home-foreclosure policies of several big banks, insist that lenders like First Premier are within their rights to continuing issuing high-rate, high-fee “subprime” credit cards.

“This is just a way for a lender to manage risk,” said Peter Garuccio, spokesman for the American Bankers Association. “For people who have had credit trouble in the past, this might be the best they can do in the marketplace.”

The 2009 law barred many credit-card industry practices that were seen as abusive, especially its former right to hike interest rates instantly and on a whim. But the law did not impose any sort of cap on the initial interest rates charged on a card, nor did it stop credit-card companies from demanding high fees simply to apply for and carry a card.

Seeking to recoup the tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue they lost as a result of the new law, credit-card companies have jacked up overall interest rates on plastic in the last year and slashed credit lines even for customers in good standing. Industry studies show that the average credit-card interest rate is slightly above 14.5 percent a year, up from about 13 percent in 2009.

And then there are the banks like First Premier that charge much higher interest rates on credit cards directed at vulnerable customers who, often because of illness or job layoffs, find themselves struggling to keep up with the bills—and with lousy credit histories as a result.

Dana Dykhouse, First Premier’s president and chief executive officer, would not reply to detailed questions from The Daily Beast about the bank’s business practices and lending philosophy.

But in a statement, the president of Premier Bankcard, Miles Beacom, suggested it was unfair for Consumers Union to brand its credit card the worst in the country.

“The bottom line is that the credit market in America is a very sophisticated and fluid process of risk evaluation,” Beacom said.

He portrayed the bank as providing a vital service to people with lousy credit histories. “The primary purpose of our credit card is to provide these individuals with a tool to help them begin to demonstrate positive financial patterns to the major credit bureaus,” he said.

The unflattering attention brought about by the 2007 settlement in New York State and the recent criticism by Consumers Union has been awkward for First Premier, which employs about 2,200 people in South Dakota and bills itself there as a stellar corporate citizen.

The bank’s folksy website promotes the bank’s seven “Premier Values,” which include a promise to treat customers with “fairness, consistency and respect.”

The bank’s founder, T. Denny Sanford, made a fortune from the subprime credit-card business and is now one of the nation’s leading philanthropists.

He has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to hospitals and other institutions across the Midwest, often on the understanding that they will be renamed for him. A large nonprofit community hospital system based in Sioux Falls is now called Sanford Health; the University of South Dakota’s medical school is now the Sanford School of Medicine. Across the border in Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic now boasts the T. Denny Sanford Pediatric Clinic.

After his $400 million donation in 2007 to what is now Sanford Health, a prominent South Dakota blogger suggested—only half in jest, it appeared—that Sanford might be eager to name the entire state after himself.

In 2006, the business school at the University of South Dakota was renamed after a $5 million donation by Sanford. It is now the Beacom School of Business, named for Miles Beacom, president of First Premier’s credit-card operation.

Philip Shenon is an investigative reporter based in Washington D.C.


Republican Lead Widens

Things continue to look bleak for Democrats going into the midterm elections, a new Wall Street Journal poll reports.
Republicans have a 50 percent to 43 percent advantage among likely voters, up three points from last month. The Republican pollster for the Journal says the lead, if it continues, would result in Republicans picking up 52 or 53 House seats, surpassing the 39 they need to get control.
In another sign of the enthusiasm gap, Tea Party supporters make up 35 percent of likely voters, while just 56 percent of people who voted for President Obama in 2008 say they are very interested in the midterms. But it's not all doom and gloom for the Democrats.
The Democratic offensive in recent weeks has increased support among African Americans and young women, and lessened the Republican advantage among senior citizens. In fact, in the Midwest, where the Democrats were losing in August, they now lead 47 percent to 42 percent.
A majority of voters describe their vote as a referendum on the president—35 percent say their vote is meant to signal support, 34 percent opposition. That's more than said so in 2006 about President Bush.

Read it at The Wall Street Journal


Viagra May Help Muscular Dystrophy Patients

Study Suggests Erectile-Dysfunction Drug May Boost Circulation, Help Heart

Though young boys may seem like unlikely candidates for treatment with Viagra, new research in mice suggests that the drug -- usually prescribed for erectile dysfunction -- may one day be used to minimize heart problems for pre-teen and adolescent boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Since Viagra (sildenafil) was approved for erectile dysfunction in 1998, researchers have identified a number of other conditions that benefit from the famed "little blue pill," such as pulmonary hypertension, heart problems in severely premature infants, and decreased circulation in patients with gangrene. New research suggests it might even help treat prostate cancer.

Now Viagra has the potential to become a heart helper for young boys who are just beginning to suffer from cardiac degeneration due to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a degenerative, muscle-wasting disease that usually affects young boys, though girls can be carriers of the disease. It causes progressive muscle weakness and loss, usually confining patients to a wheelchair by around age ten. It often leads to death before age 30. In later stages, degeneration of the diaphragm and heart can lead to potentially fatal breathing complications and heart failure.

With the help of better treatments for and control of these respiratory problems, many patients are now living into their late twenties and thirties -- long enough to suffer from cardiac complications seen in very late stages of the disease, says Stanley Froehner, a professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of Washington, Seattle, and a co-author on the study.

"It's a disease of skeletal muscular degeneration, but there's also a significant impact on the heart. Some of the boys [with DMD] in the past have died of cardiac failure, but it's becoming more common now that patients are living longer," Froehner says.


U.S. Military Moves to Accept Gay Recruits

The United States military, for the first time, is allowing its recruiters to accept openly gay and lesbian applicants.

The historic move follows a series of decisions by a federal judge in California, Virginia A. Phillips, who ruled last month that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law violates the equal protection and First Amendment rights of service members. On Oct. 12, she ordered the military to stop enforcing the law.

President Obama has said that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy “will end on my watch.” But the Department of Justice, following its tradition of defending laws passed by Congress, has fought efforts by the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay organization, to overturn the policy.

Judge Phillips on Tuesday denied requests by the government to maintain the status quo during the appeals process.

The Pentagon has stated its intent to file an appeal in case of such a ruling. But meanwhile, it has started complying with Judge Phillips’s instructions while the dispute over her orders plays out.

New instructions were e-mailed to recruiters on Friday for handling situations in which applicants volunteer their sexual orientation. Recruiters do not ask about sexual orientation and have not since the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law went into effect in the 1990s.

Recruiters were also told that they must inform the applicants that the moratorium on “don’t ask, don’t tell” could be reversed.

R. Clarke Cooper, the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, applauded the Pentagon decision as “a huge deal.”

Mr. Cooper noted, however, that under the new rules, a service member who announces his or her sexual orientation “does run the risk of discharge if the ruling is overturned — if there is a successful appeal by the Department of Justice.”

“They do need to be aware of that possibility,” he said.

Mr. Cooper, a member of the Army Reserve, said that he was taking part in training last week at Fort Huachuca in Arizona when the injunction was issued, and that he was surprised by the lack of visible opposition or outcry.

He likened it to a “giant shoulder shrug of ‘so what?’ ”

Most of the people he was with, he added, were younger members of the service, and “a few people actually thought repeal had already occurred.”

Cynthia Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman, would not address a question about whether a recruit who volunteered that he was gay during the current suspension of the law might face expulsion from the military if the decision were appealed.

She called that situation hypothetical and said only that recruiters had been reminded that “they need to set expectations by informing the applicant that a reversal for the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ law may occur.”

An opponent of service by openly gay men and lesbians dismissed the Pentagon shift as “a political ploy.”

Elaine Donnelly, the founder of the Center for Military Readiness, a conservative organization that opposes gay service in the military, said Congress, under the Constitution, has the authority to draft rules for the military.

The Department of Justice, she added, acted properly by filing its request for a stay.

“There was no need to introduce this additional element of disconnect with the law and precedent and policy,” Ms. Donnelly said. “The military doesn’t need this — but this is what the Department of Defense did, and frankly, I find it inexplicable.”

Military recruiters around the country were adjusting to the change in policy on Tuesday.

Dan Choi, who was discharged from the Army under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” tried to re-enlist at the Armed Forces Recruiting Station in Times Square. Photographers and reporters crowded around the door, and they, in turn, were ringed by tourists and bystanders.

Mr. Choi emerged from the recruiting station and said, “They’re processing me.”

He added that the recruiters had not been rattled by his request, and he poked fun at the oft-repeated argument that repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” would affect unit cohesion in the military. “They didn’t disintegrate in there,” he said. “Their unit cohesion is doing just fine.”

Another former service member was not as successful in his attempt. Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, who is the president of the Log Cabin Republicans’ San Diego chapter, showed up at a recruiting station in El Cajon, Calif., on Tuesday afternoon to see if he could rejoin the Marines after being honorably discharged two years ago.

The visit was brief. The Marines, the recruiter told him, had very few slots for prior-service Marines to return to duty, and the current quota was filled.

“I have to wait now until December or January” to find out if more spaces open up, he said.

“I have no idea what to do now other than wait,” said Mr. Rodriguez-Kennedy, 23. He then went back to San Diego Mesa College, where he is a sophomore, to take a Japanese exam.

Omar Lopez, who served four and a half years in the Navy and was honorably discharged in 2006 under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” tried to re-enlist the day after Judge Phillips issued her injunction. He was rejected by recruiters who said they had received no instructions about the injunction, or about accepting gay recruits.

Dan Woods, the lawyer for the Log Cabin Republicans, sent a letter to the Department of Justice warning that rejecting Mr. Lopez and other openly gay recruits meant that “the Defense Department would appear to be in violation of the court’s injunction and subject to citation for contempt” of court.

Mr. Lopez, a college student in Austin, Tex., said he is not a member of the Log Cabin Republicans, and in fact is “mostly Democrat.”

He said he was gratified to hear that his experience might have nudged policies forward. “I’m really glad that it had that impact,” he added, and vowed to try again. He said he was not concerned that returning to the military at this point might put him under special scrutiny.

“I think I wouldn’t go back as a gay man,” he explained. “I would go back as a soldier.”

Elisabeth Bumiller and Andrew Keh contributed reporting.