The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Staff editorial: Outing lesbian sgt. is suspicious, wrong

The fact that the military fired a lesbian sergeant after she was “outed” by a police officer represents the inequality homosexuals still experience today – especially in the military.

But even beyond gay rights and the antiquated “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, this issue speaks to police corruption in the country.

According to the Associated Press report, police contacted Jene Newsome at her home in Rapid City, S.D., in connection to theft charges against her partner. The police claimed they saw her marriage license through the window.

The claim that a police officer could distinguish a marriage license from a window is extremely questionable and raises concerns about the officer’s credibility. What’s more likely is the police outed Newsome’s sexuality after she refused to provide details of her partner’s whereabouts.

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Police should serve and protect the citizens, and they failed to do either in this case. Instead, they went out of their way to expose a responsible sergeant and ruin a

career. This is a step down a slippery slope, in that police could claim they “saw” any number of things that could implicate citizens in wrongdoing.

It’s even more suspicious that the police spotted the marriage license from the window when Newsome claimed she didn’t even know the document’s location.

It raises a point that perhaps the police outed Newsome out of vengeance and not a responsibility to the public. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is quoted as saying that military officials might not have to be expelled if it is discovered that their third-party outing was based on vindictive or suspect motives. This instance appears to be a clear case of that type of motivation.

It’s unfortunate that service members can be performing their job well only to be fired from the military because of their sexuality.

If the marriage document wasn’t miraculously discovered, it’s safe to assume this woman would still be serving her country without commotion.

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