Brian served 9 years, including a stint in Iraq
TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Army National Guard has discharged its first gay soldier under the federal "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy.
Amy Brian, who served nine years in the guard, including a stint in Iraq, was investigated and "separated" last month after a civilian co-worker told authorities they had seen her kissing a woman in a Wal-Mart checkout line.
"I’d never really tried to hide my homosexuality to the close people I worked with," Brian said. "And they didn’t seem to care or think any different of it."
Brian joins almost 12,500 other lesbian, gay and bisexual service members who the Pentagon has discharged from 1994 to 2007.
The Washington-based Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a nonprofit organization formed in response to the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy, said women are discharged at a rate disproportionate to their presence in the military.
In 2003, for example, women made up 33 percent of all discharges tied to homosexual conduct but made up only 15 percent of all military personnel. Those numbers, based on the most recent statistics available, were gathered from the government under the Freedom of Information Act.