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Choi and Pietrangelo Plead Not Guilty


Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo pleaded not guilty to charges arising from their Thursday civil disobedience action at an arraignment in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

They two were arrested Thursday after chaining themselves to the White House gate in protest of the military's ban on openly gay service members.

Paul Yandura, one of the organizers, told The Advocate that Dan and Jim were released from police custody. Because they pleaded not guilty, their case will go to trial in lieu of paying a $100 fine.

They must return to court for trial April 26.

"I was deeply proud and honored to witness what I consider to be brave patriotism, not only to risk a deeper fine from a jury trial, but possibly time spent in jail," said Robin McGehee, the co-founder of GetEqual, which organized Choi and Pietrangelo's protest on Thursday.

She was also arrested at the protest on Thursday, but was released hours later, after paying a $35 fine.

Gearing up for the trial, McGehee said that more actions similar to the event on Thursday are in the works in Washington, the end of April with other service members and veterans.

"Our focus is to empower the community online to take offline actions," she said on Friday.

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