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PO Box 65301
Washington,  DC 20035-5301
Phone: 202-328-3244

OutServe-SLDN empowers, supports, and defends the LGBT community in DOD, active duty service, veterans, and their families, while working to strengthen our military community's culture of inclusion.

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The Army recently fired a lesbian Arabic linguist at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in California after instructing her to continue reporting for duty, despite her acknowledgement that she is a lesbian.

Private First Class Patricia Ramirez recently acknowledged her sexual orientation in a letter to her command. Ramirez is an Arabic linguist, a much needed skill in the war on terrorism.

The DLI command informed Ramirez in writing that, despite being lesbian, she was being retained in the Army and should continue to report for duty.

Within weeks however, SLDN learned that DLI officials had apparently reopened her case and were illegally questioning service members on base to obtain information about homosexual conduct by Ramirez. Additional service members at DLI were reportedly threatened with prosecution and imprisonment if they did not cooperate with the command's renewed investigation of Ramirez.

In May, Ramirez was informed that, despite DLI's earlier promises to allow her career to continue, she was being fired under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Ramirez wrote that, "The truth is that I would like very much to complete language training and serve my country."

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