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Soulforce
activists take on "don't ask, don't tell"

Soulforce
activists take on "don't ask, don't tell"

The activists are enlisting in the Minnesota National Guard as openly gay recruits to challenge the military's antigay policy.

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Three young gay activists who just months ago traversed the country's religious colleges preaching acceptance toward gays are now taking on the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" military policy by enlisting in the Minnesota National Guard as openly gay recruits.

On Tuesday, Jacob Reitan, Haven Herrin, and Ezekiel Montgomery--all members of the gay activist group Soulforce--began the process of joining the Minnesota National Guard, making it clear to recruiters that they are gay and will not lie about their sexual orientation in order to serve.

"The policy makes it clear that I will eventually be rejected based upon my sexual orientation," said the 24-year-old Herrin. "The option then is to make an appeal in which I attempt to prove I am not gay. Instead, I will talk about my strengths and challenge the logic of telling me, a qualified young adult, that I cannot join the military because of my sexual orientation."

Their applications are in process, but Reitan, Herrin, and Montgomery cannot take the qualifying tests or medical exams until they receive a waiver for their sexual orientation. According to Soulforce, no such waiver has ever been granted.

Reitan, Herrin, and Montgomery's efforts are part of a campaign in 31 cities across the nation where openly gay youths will seek to join the military later this summer. (The Advocate)

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Soulforce
activists take on "don't ask, don't tell"

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