KARIBU MAISHANI

KARIBU MAISHANI

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dan Choi, Iraq war veteran, is honored at annual gay pride celebration


The gay Iraq war veteran leading the fight against the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the armed forces was honored last night in the City Council's annual gay pride celebration.

New York National Guard Lt. Dan Choi, a grand marshal in Sunday's Pride March, led the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance - even though he said it doesn't hold true for gay Americans.

"The final two words of the pledge are absolutely untrue, as there is no liberty and justice for all," Choi said.

"We're not first-class citizens, so to say 'for all' to a lot of people in this gathering is an insult," he said. "It is a pledge. It's not a statement of fact."

Choi was joined by TV host Wendy Williams and newly-out country singer Chely Wright, who cautioned young gays and lesbians that revealing their sexuality can still be dangerous.

"There are young people in small towns that have a dream of making music or being an actor and they may not be in a safe community," she said. "Come out when you feel safe and make sure that you feel supported."

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