Choi May Act as Own Attorney in Protest Trial
BY Trudy Ring
April 06 2012 1:45 PM ET
Military activist Dan Choi says he may represent himself in his trial for chaining himself to the White House fence in 2010 to protest “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
“I think for activists, especially for people who protest at the public square, there’s no more powerful thing and there’s no greater empowering moment than to stand before the judge and let them hear your own voice,” Choi, a former Army lieutenant, told the Washington Blade this week. He said he was inspired partly by the late gay activist Frank Kameny, who in the 1960s represented himself before the U.S. Supreme Court when he sued over his firing from a government job.
Choi, who dismissed his lawyers earlier this year, was one of several protesters who were arrested in November 2010 after handcuffing themselves to the fence. All except Choi agreed to plead guilty, with the promise that charges would be erased from their record if they did not get arrested at the White House again for four months.
Choi said he did not take that offer because he wants to be acquitted of the charge, disobeying a lawful order to disperse, which is a misdemeanor. He believes his action was not illegal and is protected by the First Amendment.
The Blade reported he may appeal to the Supreme Court “to challenge a procedural ruling preventing him from arguing at trial that he was targeted for ‘vindictive’ or ‘selective’ prosecution.” If he decides not to appeal or the high court does not accept it, his trial, which began last August, would resume in federal court in the District of Columbia.
- New Antigay Children's Book Teaches Kids to Hate LGBT Families
- WATCH: Kaitlyn Hunt Rejects Plea Deal, Girlfriend's Parents Say They Had No Choice
- The 'Undetectable' Paradox
- Artist Spotlight: Christopher Sousa
- Robbie Rogers Becomes First Openly Gay Major League Soccer Player
- French Marriage Equality Opponent 'Very Scared' Of Right-Wing Backlash
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Television Jason Collins Calls It a 'Slam-Dunk!' and More Fake Gay Reviews for Behind the Candelabra May 25 2013 6:30 PM
- Food and Drink Want to Eat a Hot Dog Named After Harvey Fierstein? May 25 2013 5:53 PM
- Marriage Equality French Marriage Equality Opponent 'Very Scared' Of Right-Wing Backlash May 25 2013 3:02 PM
- Entertainment News Augusten Burroughs Shows Off Wedding Rings May 25 2013 1:56 PM
- Women WATCH: Kaitlyn Hunt Rejects Plea, Victim's Parents Speak May 25 2013 1:21 PM
- Washington D.C. White House to Host Pride Reception June 13 May 25 2013 12:44 PM
- Politics Virginia's Lt. Gov. Nominee Says Gays Are 'Ikky' May 25 2013 12:35 PM