Charges against two service members
arrested outside the White House protesting DADT were dropped on Wednesday.
Army Lt. Dan Choi and Captain James
Pietrangelo had pleaded not guilty in D.C. Superior Court for
handcuffing themselves to the White House fence in protest of “Don't
Ask, Don't Tell,” the law that bans gay and lesbian service members
from revealing their sexual orientation at the risk of being fired.
The men were arrested in May and again
in April by Park Police and charged with failure to obey an officer
in DC's criminal court.
“Victory for truth today!” Choi
tweeted. “Government drops case against us.”
Prosecutors did not comment on why the
government dropped the charges, but Choi told the AP that he believes
the Obama administration doesn't want to draw unneeded attention to
the policy as
lawmakers consider repeal.
Choi, 29, was discharged from the Army
under the policy last year after he announced he was gay on MSNBC's
The Rachel Maddow Show. He
is currently appealing the Army's decision.
Pietrangelo, 44, of Sandusky, Ohio, was
discharged in 2004.
Choi has become the face of opposition
to DADT since his national coming out. Polls show a near universal
majority of Americans agree that the policy is discriminatory and a
majority say it should be scrapped.