WASHINGTON, D.C., May 8, 2009 – In response to Lt. Dan Choi’s recent discharge from the Army National Guard under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:

The U.S. Army this week discharged Lt. Dan Choi, the military’s top Arabic linguist, after Choi revealed in March that he is gay. The military’s decision to fire Lt. Choi for his sexual orientation is yet another disappointing example of just how misguided the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is. With our military stretched and strained by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the dismissal of crucial and qualified personnel solely because of their sexual orientation is not only unjust and a violation of the American promise of equal rights and opportunity for all — it is also a threat to the safety of our nation.

President Obama has indicated that he recognizes the injustice of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We urge him to address this critical issue of national security and civil rights by making repeal of the policy a priority. He can – and should – begin by reinstating Lt. Choi.