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Lesbian cadet quits West Point, cites ‘don’t ask’
Question of the Day
WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — A lesbian cadet asked Monday to resign from the U.S. Military Academy because she no longer can lie about her sexuality and was troubled by the anti-gay attitudes of some around her.
Cadet Katherine Miller of Findlay, Ohio, also said she wants to fight for repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, a subject she was studying and writing about as a sociology major at West Point.
“I intend for my resignation to offer a concrete example of the consequences of a failed law and social policy,” she wrote in her resignation letter, referring to the law against gays serving openly in the military.
Cadet Miller wrote proudly of her accomplishments as a student, athlete and soldier and said that she had not been pressured by anyone to resign. But she wrote of being “coerced into ignoring derogatory comments towards homosexuals for fear of being alienated for my viewpoint” and of enduring “sexual harassment for fear of being accused as a lesbian.”
Cadet Miller said by e-mail that she wasn’t immediately available to speak with the Associated Press on Thursday, but she confirmed the resignation letter.
In the letter, she said she fabricated a heterosexual dating history to share with any fellow cadets who asked.
“In short, I have lied to my classmates and compromised my integrity and identity by adhering to existing military policy,” she said.
Ranked ninth in the class of more than 1,100 cadets about to start their third year, Cadet Miller’s resignation letter was dated a week before she would be required to sign a commitment to finish her final two years and serve five years in the military.
Jim Fox, a West Point spokesman, said Cadet Miller will remain at the academy while her request is reviewed. That takes about a week, he said.
Cadet Miller “is in good standing and has done very well academically, militarily and physically while at the academy,” Mr. Fox said Thursday. Cadets may withdraw at any point in their first two years without owing the government service or compensation for the education and benefits they’ve received.
Cadet Miller has been admitted to Yale University, starting in September.
She said she will work through her studies and political activism to win repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law and would apply to return to West Point in the 2011-12 academic year if that happens soon enough.
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