Veteran, DADT Advocate, Darren Manzella Killed in Car Crash
BY Michelle Garcia
August 31 2013 1:37 PM ET
Just weeks after getting married in July, former Army sergeant and "don't ask, don't tell advocate Darren Manzella was killed in a car crash Thursday night in Upstate New York. He was 36.
Manzella, a combat medic who served in Iraq in 2004, had become one of the familiar faces in the fight to bring down the federal government's ban on openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members. He was discharged months after coming out on 60 Minutes in 2007, but later said his announcement was worth it the risk.
"I gave voice to the tens of thousands of men and women who serve everyday under the fear of DADT," he said in a 2010 letter to President Barack Obama.
Since the ban was lifted in 2011, Manzella reportedly joined the Army Reserves, and worked at the Canandaigua Veterans Affairs’s crisis call center. On July 5, he married his husband Javier Lapeira-Soto in Rochester, N.Y.
“We will always remember Sgt. Manzella as someone who had the courage both to fight for his country and to change it,” New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a statement to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
Manzella was killed in a two-car collision on I-490, in Pittsford, N.Y., according to the report.
- Women WATCH: Trans Man Has Vagina Pride 1 hour 3 min ago
- Hot Sheet Hot Sheet: History Boys 1 hour 29 min ago
- Marriage Equality Here's The Most Absurd Thing You Missed in Michigan's Marriage Equality Trial 1 hour 34 min ago
- Uganda As Aid Cuts Continue, Ugandan Officials Not Concerned 1 hour 57 min ago
- Religion Fired Gay Administrator Sues Wash. Catholic School 1 hour 59 min ago
- Women Who the F Is … California Politico Toni Atkins? 5:53 PM
- Women Op-ed: Why We Need International Women's Day 5:49 PM