By: Shannon Ralph
The federal trial of of former Army Lieutenant Dan Choi has been put on hold. Choi, a former soldier who was dismissed two years ago after coming out on television, has been on trial in Washington DC on charges of failing to obey police orders after chaining himself to the White House fence last November to protest the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
Yesterday, Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola put the trial on hold for ten days, citing that he believes Choi has shown he has been treated differently because he is gay.
The Iraq veteran’s lawyer, Robert Feldman, told the Associated Press earlier this week, “They want him to go away. He is the gay man who is finally attracting the attention.” Feldman went on to say yesterday that he believes his client has “effectively won the case”.
Choi could face up to six months in jail and a fine if convicted. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is due to be lifted at the end of this month, after a lengthy appeals process.