“I was always discreet, I never considered it would be an issue. I thought if I don’t say anything, they’re not going to ask me. But it was more aggressive than I thought.” – Arabic languages specialist Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Benjamin, who was dismissed from the Navy in another round of DADT-related firings. Benjamin admitted sending his former roommate in Iraq messages on a secure secret military computer system, where he discussed his dating life.
Benjamin: “I’d always had been out since the day I started working there. We had conversations about being gay in the military and what it was like. There were no issues with unit cohesion. I never caused divisiveness or ever experienced slurs.” Straight members of his unit who used the computer for personal messages were disciplined but not dismissed. Some members of Congress, including Rep. Marty Meehan who is seeking the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, have asked for a hearing on the issue of Arab linguists, 58 of whom have been fired for being gay.