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Gay Soldier Faces Court for Going AWOL

Gay Soldier Faces Court for Going AWOL


A gay man must stand trial before a military court at Fort Sill in Oklahoma for going AWOL from the Army in 2007, in an attempt to avoid bullying within the ranks.

J.T. Chestnut wrote in a message shared by WeHo Confidentialthat his father forced him to enter the military to "become more of a man (in other words ... straight)." He said he was then led on by a colleague who framed him for homosexual conduct under "don't ask, don't tell," which was still in effect then.

"During the investigation, I was constantly bullied for my 'lifestyle' of being gay and for being who I was," he said. "This time for me was very depressing, horrible, and I was desperate to get out." This led him to abandon his position and head to West Hollywood. Chestnut said he lived a "happy and beautiful life working in LGBT rights" until October 31, when he was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

A petition
is now circulating asking the Department of Defense to release Chestnut.

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