Lesbian Air Force Sergeant Dischared After Being Outed by Police
March 14, 2010
(ChattahBox)—In another case of unfair third-party outing under the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy, a lesbian Air Force sergeant was discharged, after the local police revealed her sexual identity to her military superiors. Air Force Sgt. Jene Newsome, complied with the DADT policy by keeping her homosexuality private. But when the Rapid City, SD police arrived at Newsome’s home with an arrest warrant for her partner, the officers spied an Iowa marriage license, showing that the two women were married. And the police alerted Ellsworth Air Force base, where she worked, that she was gay. As a result, Newsome, 28, was banished from the military with an honorable discharge, after serving for nearly a decade. With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, Newsome is suing the police department, claiming they violated her privacy and outed her in retaliation for not cooperating with them.
Newsome’s troubles began when the Rapid City police showed up at her door, with an arrest warrant for theft from Fairbanks, Alaska for her partner:
“The Rapid City Police Department says Newsome, an aircraft armament system craftsman who spent nine years in the Air Force, was not cooperative when they showed up at her home in November with an arrest warrant for her partner, who was wanted on theft charges in Fairbanks, Alaska. Newsome was at work at the base at the time and refused to immediately come home and assist the officers in finding her partner, whom she married in Iowa — where gay marriage is legal — in October. Police officers, who said they spotted the marriage license on the kitchen table through a window of Newsome’s home, alerted the base, police Chief Steve Allender said. The license was relevant to the investigation because it showed both the relationship and residency of the two women, he said.”
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has recommended that the military should stop discharging gay service members, based on third-party outings while the Pentagon reviews the DADT policy. But the change in policy didn’t come soon enough to protect Jene Newsome.
Photo Source: Associated Press