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Lesbian resigns from West Point

August 13, 2010 8:21:39 PM PDT
Former cadet Katherine Miller stands outside the gates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, as she is no longer a soldier in training.

"This is something I've struggled with and I am still upset with the fact that I've left the military," Miller said.

She struggled with being a lesbian in the military world of "Don't ask, don't tell".

"I'm very saddened by the fact that I just resigned from the military which is something I aspired to do ultimately. I do feel liberated," Miller said.

Miller's conflict with the "Don't ask, don't tell" law which prohibits homosexuals on active duty from discussing their sexuality came into sharp focus during her studies as a sociology major at the academy.

"Not only is it discriminatory, but I think it's a detriment to unit cohesion," Miller said.

The turning point happened for Miller during an ethics class during a discussion of gays in the military.

"The sort of derogatory language that was thrown around, and just pure ignorance and hatred that was displayed by a minority of the cadets, it really shook me," Miller said.

That led to her decision to resign.

She was 9th in her class of 1,100 cadets, submitting her resignation just prior to the beginning of her third year in which she would have had to commit to two final years and then five years of military service.

"I'm just not comfortable signing a commitment while the policy remains in place," Miller said.

Now as she packs up her things, her plans are to study at Yale University where she also hopes to continue her efforts to help repeal the "Don't ask, don't tell" law.


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