by Jennifer Lawrence | November 15, 2014 11:17 pm
Unbelievable! The Army is moving to discharge a decorated combat pilot who intervened to stop two lesbian officers from showing what he considered inappropriate affection on the dance floor during a full-dress formal ball at Fort Drum, New York, in 2012.
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The Army is moving to discharge a decorated combat pilot who intervened to stop two lesbian officers from showing what he considered inappropriate affection on the dance floor during a full-dress formal ball at Fort Drum, New York, in 2012.
Lt. Col. Christopher Downey, who was once assigned to the White House and completed tours in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, ended up being convicted administratively of assaulting a soldier trying to videotape the kissing and grabbing. Col. Downey’s attorney, Richard Thompson, says his client merely pushed down the camera to prevent photos and video that could end up on social media.
“It’s political correctness run wild,” Mr. Thompson said. “Military rules do not apply to lesbian officers because of political correctness.”
Col. Downey won early battle with the Army last year. A special three-officer “show cause” board reviewed the punishment and unanimously ruled that the evidence showed he did not violate Army rules.
“The allegation of conduct unbecoming an officer … is not supported by the preponderance of the evidence,” the board wrote. “The findings do not warrant separation.”
Yet Col. Downey still faces separation by an Army forced-retirement board that began meeting this week.
On the night of April 14, 2012, seven months after President Obama lifted the ban on acknowledged gays in the military, Col. Downey moved to the dance floor to caution the two lesbian officers, a second lieutenant and a captain.
A warrant officer had approached Col. Downey and complained that their prolonged French kissing, buttocks grabbing and disrobing of Army jackets violated Army rules against inappropriate displays of public affection while in uniform on base, his attorney said.
He said the captain, who since has left the Army, complained that she and her girlfriend, whom she later married and then divorced, were victims of discrimination.
“Lt. Col. Downey gave his all to the Army and to the country he loves, yet the Army he so loyally served threw him under the bus merely to avoid negative press from the homosexual community,” Mr. Thompson said.
Suing the service
Mr. Thompson, who heads the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced Thursday that he had filed suit against the Army in U.S. District Court.
The lawsuit accuses the Army of violating Col. Downey’s constitutional rights by preventing him from adequately defending himself and asks a federal judge to overturn the convictions. It also seeks Col. Downey’s reinstatement to the promotion list and to the roster for attending the Army War College.
An Army spokesman at the Pentagon said it is long-standing policy not to comment on pending litigation.
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