The Leslie Stahl 60 Minutes story featuring openly gay Army Sergeant Darren Manzella - widely believed to be the reason behind his discharge - is set for rebroadcast this Sunday with an update.

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) announced that Manzella had been discharged under “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” - the military's ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the Armed Forces – effective June 10th.

In the story, originally broadcast in December 2007, Manzella revealed he had been openly out to his superiors without incident. Manzella says he was investigated for being gay and even supplied the Army with photos of his boyfriend - A.J. - and a video of the pair kissing during a road trip. But when the investigation ended he was told to go back to work.

Manzella said the Army found “no evidence of homosexuality.”

Yet a new determination of ineligibility was handed down after CBS aired their story. The SLDN believes Manzella was fired not because he was gay, but because he spoke up.

“Sergeant Manzella's story illustrates the arbitrary and uneven enforcement of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'. Manzella's dismissal has nothing to do with the fact that he is gay, and everything to do with the fact that he spoke to Leslie Stahl and CBS. Had 60 Minutes not aired this story, all evidence indicates that Darren would still be serving in the Army as an openly gay soldier and American troops in a war zone would continue to be bravely served by a skilled medic,” said SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis in a prepared statement.

Manzella enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2002 and was twice deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was awarded the Combat Medical Badge for providing medical care under fire during the Iraq war.

The SLDN reports that a growing number of gay and lesbian service members are serving openly without incident. The organization says it is aware of more than 500 troops who are serving openly.

“The discharge of battle-tested, talented service members like Sergeant Manzella weakens our military in a time of war. National security requires that Congress lift the ban on gays in the military and allow commanders to judge troops on their qualifications, not their sexuality,” said Adam Ebbin, Communications Director of SLDN.

“I was open about being gay to my colleagues and commanders long before I sat down in front of a camera, and no one cared because they recognized I am a good soldier,” said Manzella. “Only when 60 Minutes interviewed me, and the media started paying attention to the fact many openly gay men and women already are serving in the armed forces, did the Army take steps to discharge me.”

The rebroadcast will include an update on Manzella's current situation.

On the net: The SLDN website is at