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Friday, December 03, 2004

Mixed Message From Naval Academy 

The Naval Academy Alumni Association governing board has once more rejected the affiliation application from the chapter formed for gay, lesbian and straight ally alums. The chapter is the only applicant ever denied affiliation status from the Alumni Association, and now it's been denied twice.

After last year's denial, the group took steps to address several of the previously given reasons for rejection. The Association expressed concern that the group was narrowly focused on a special interest group and would be exclusive. The chapter rewrote their bylaws to specify that straight alums were welcome, and indeed one of their 68 current members is straight. The Association stated last year that new chapters must be "geographic in nature," so the chapter established a headquarters in the Castro. The Association in this year's rejection cited an existing chapter that already serves the San Francisco area.

In their news release announcing the decision, the Alumni Association praised their own decision as "reaffirm[ing their] commitment to diversity and inclusiveness." The Association also stated and directed that existing chapters "should not and did not discriminate against gay and lesbian alumni." Because it would be so unusual to discover any instances of discrimination against gays in the military. And it's not like alums who are still active in the military would suffer any career repercussions by coming out in their mainstream alumni chapter.

On a related note, congratulations to Harvard Law School for responding so quickly to the 3rd Circuit's injunction (3rd Circuit opinion link here, but it seems to be down right now) barring enforcement of the Solomon Amendment.

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