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Fort Bragg Officer Wants To Resign From Military; Army Says No

Posted February 12, 2002

— There has been a heated debate for years over gays in the military. The U.S. military considers homosexual behavior an offense worthy of a court-martial. One soldier at Fort Bragg is now caught in the middle and is offering to resign.

Capt. David Donovan is married with five children. A few years ago, he realized he was bisexual. After 17 years in the Army, he said he is willing to give up his military career and future benefits for what he thinks is right.

"I am close to retirement and I could just say nothing, but I thought the policy is a bad decision," he said.

On four different occasions, Donovan, a military police officer and computer specialist, offered to resign. Because of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, his decision was supported by the chain of command at Fort Bragg. But, officials at the Pentagon will not let him go.

Todd Conorman, Donovan's attorney, said Army leaders have cited two different reasons. Because the military sent him to school, they said he has a service commitment. On another occasion, they said they needed more proof.

"The Army is clearly violating its own policy. If they say homosexuality is incompetent, he should be discharged. They need to make a decision," Conorman said.

"I have nothing to gain financially by getting out and a great deal to lose personally by going public. It seems obvious to me," Donovan said.

Donovan said he is willing to pay back the money the military has spent to send him to get his Master's degree. Conorman said he will not give investigators additional proof because they could court-martial his client.

A spokesperson at Fort Bragg said the military policy states you can be discharged for homosexual conduct, but not necessarily for homosexual orientation.


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