Another Base Murder
Gay sailor killed at Camp Pendleton
By Denny Meyer and Marie Bohusch
exactly ten years to the day after Army PFC
Barry Winchell was brutally murdered at Ft
Campbell (6 July 1999) because some fellow
soldiers “thought” he was gay, yet another
savage killing for seemingly the same reason has
happened at Camp Pendleton.
Barry wasn’t even gay, despite his having become
a martyr for the movement to repeal the Don’t
Ask Don’t Tell law. He was in love with a
transgender woman. Out of pure profoundly
ignorant hate, he was beaten to death in his
sleep with a baseball bat by a soldier whose
hate had been inflamed by official cadence calls
that urged soldiers to “kill fags.”
Now we must sadly examine the fate of Seaman
August Provost, an African American sailor, who
apparently had been rudely accused earlier the
same night of being gay by a person now being
questioned by the authorities.
A July 1st article at
SanDiego6.com reported, "Citing unnamed
sources with access to a report on the seaman's
death, [Ben] Gomez said Provost was killed
during an argument with another sailor over the
victim's sexual orientation. On his MySpace
page, Provost made references to same-sex dating
and identified another Houston man as 'the love
of my life.'"
According to an article posted at
NBCSanDiego.com, "sources also said the
victim was shot and burned."
Little else is actually known as of this
writing. What we do know is that such bigotry
is rather rare in today’s American armed forces.
Despite the macabre synchronicity, such a hate
killing has not happened for nearly a decade.
In today’s armed forces gay people often serve,
openly "Out" to peers who only care about
performance on duty, not who someone loves.
What has not changed however, is the DADT policy
which prevents service members from reporting
harassment and bigotry, because they would then
be suspect and questioned, investigated and
discharged if they happen to actually be
homosexual or bisexual. It is the policy itself
that puts our patriotic service members at risk,
that distorts and, in some cases, destroys unit
morale when fellow soldiers are singled out as
targets of hatred by a minority of bigots who do
not deserve to wear an American uniform.
"A stop loss order from President Obama now,"
according to AVER President Navy Chief Jim
Donovan [Ret.], "to halt LGBT investigations and
discharges, would not only preserve the presence
of critical service members, it would allow them
to report threats and harrassment just as any
other minority in our armed forces, without the
fear of losing their careers, a very real fear
which too many silently endure at present. It
is no different than troops reporting
discriminatory behavior based on gender, race,
or religion, or our female troops reporting
Military Sexual Trauma."
all Americans to call upon the president to stop
discharging LGBT service members. Bigotry
against any patriotic American service member is
no longer acceptable.
Gay Military Signal