DADT Protesters Arrested at White House

BY Kerry Eleveld

April 20 2010 12:00 PM ET


In a second round of civil disobedience at the White House organized by the grassroots group GetEQUAL, six LGBT service members were arrested after handcuffing themselves to the perimeter fence Tuesday afternoon to protest “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

The protesters included Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo II, who handcuffed themselves, in uniform, to the same fence last month. Pietrangelo was discharged from the military under the gay ban, while Choi's discharge is pending.

Shortly after 12 noon Eastern time, the six protesters unceremoniously approached the fence in uniform. Police officers did not realize the group had handcuffed themselves to the fence for several minutes. The stealth protest is in contrast to last month, when Choi led part of a separate Human Rights Campaign rally to the White House. He and Pietrangelo were then arrested for failure to obey a lawful order.

A U.S. Park Police spokesman told The Advocate that the six were arrested after three verbal warnings and were taken into custody. All have been charged with failure to obey a lawful order (the second such charge for Choi and Pietrangelo) and are currently being held at the police's Anacostia station. It is unclear if they will be detained overnight prior to a court hearing, as Choi and Pietrangelo were last month. (Continued on following page)

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