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The lawyers for Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. James Pietrangelo II Wednesday served a subpoena to President Barack Obama seeking his testimony in their July 14 hearing in D.C. superior court.
Choi and Pietrangelo were arrested twice for chaining themselves to the White House gates in combat fatigues to protest what they view as President Obama's lack of leadership on repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
As part of their defense, the two men claim that they were following orders from the commander in chief himself, who as both a candidate and a sitting president requested that LGBT advocates hold him accountable and "pressure" him to deliver on his campaign promises.
The defense summary notes, in particular, Obama's remarks during the Human Rights Campaign dinner on October 10, 2009.
"It's not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African-Americans petitioning for equal rights half a century ago," he said. "And that's why it's so important that you continue to speak out, that you continue to set an example, that you continue to pressure leaders -- including me -- and to make the case all across America."
The defense lawyers further claim that the president's statements "support the contention that the Defendants were acting out of necessity, in order to prevent discrimination and greater harm to gay service members now serving."