Gay former Army Lt. Dan Choi was fined $100 today for chaining himself to the White House fence in 2010 to protest "don't ask, don't tell," ending a protracted legal battle that Choi contended was unnecessarily harsh.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office told the Associated Press that Choi was convicted of failing to obey a lawful order, and fined by a judge Thursday in Washington, D.C. Choi was one of 13 people arrested for handcuffing themselves to the White House Fence in 2010 to protest the since-repealed ban on open military service by gay men and lesbians. All of the other protestors accepted plea bargains, but Choi refused to do so.
The Associated Press reports that Choi represented himself in today's hearing, and "was alternately emotional and angry as his trial resumed."
Before Choi's trial resumed this morning, supporters gathered outside the federal courthouse in D.C., carrying signs with messages like "Stop persecuting Lt. Dan Choi" and "Fail to Obey," which became a hashtag on Twitter as #Fail2Obey.
Keep reading to see photos from the demonstrations outside the courthouse this morning.
Former US Army Lt. Dan Choiwalks with other gay rights activists to the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse March 28 in Washington, D.C. The former Iraq War vet and graduate of West Point is going to trial to face charges that stem from a November 2010 arrest for chaining himself to the White House fence to protest “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”