Military officials deny knowledge of 23-year-old’s sexual orientation
A gay man who had been in the active reserves claims that the United States Navy recalled him to active duty after dismissing him under the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on LGBT service personnel.
Navy officials, however, say Jason Knight, 23, was never officially known by the Pentagon to be gay. They also say he volunteered to return to active duty instead of being recalled.
According to a report published online Monday, May 7 by ABC News, Petty Officer Knight came to terms with his homosexuality when he married a woman in July 2004, and he then informed his command of his sexual orientation when he was filling out paperwork to have that marriage annulled.
Knight told ABC he filled out paperwork regarding his orientation as required under the DADT protocols. But his superior officers decided, since he was nearly done with his four-year enlistment period and would be eligible for discharge in April 2005, that he would instead receive a normal discharge at that time.
Knight said that because his superiors didn’t want to “drag it out,” they chose to give him a regular discharge instead of the “homosexual separation” that goes along with DADT procedures.
Knight also told ABC that he received a letter from Navy officials in April 2005 telling him to return the $13,000 bonus he had been paid after he enlisted four years before. He said when he returned to active duty the Navy withheld $350 from his paycheck each month to repay the bonus.
Navy Cmdr. Jeff Davis, however, told ABC, that Davis’ personnel record does not show that he is openly gay. He also said Knight was not recalled to active duty but instead volunteered to return to active status.
Knight countered that claim, however, by saying he had received an e-mail from the Navy recalling him to active duty, and that he did not find out until he reached Kuwait the recall had been voluntary. He said the same thing happened to other service members.
Since being recalled he has been promoted.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, April 27, 2007.