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Published: Friday, 8/13/2010

Cadet quits West Point over homosexuality

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

FINDLAY — A lesbian cadet and recent Findlay High School graduate asked this week to resign from the U.S. Military Academy because she no longer can lie about her sexuality and was troubled by the anti-gay attitudes of some of those around her.

Katherine Miller of Findlay also said she wants to fight for repeal of the 'don't ask, don't tell' law, a subject she was studying and writing about as a sophomore sociology major at West Point.

'I intend for my resignation to offer a concrete example of the consequences of a failed law and social policy,' Ms. Miller, a 2008 Findlay graduate, wrote in her resignation letter on Monday, referring to the law against gays serving openly in the military.

Ms. Miller wrote proudly of her accomplishments as a student, athlete, and soldier and said that she had not been pressured by anyone to resign. But she wrote of being 'coerced into ignoring derogatory comments towards homosexuals for fear of being alienated for my viewpoint' and that she 'endured sexual harassment for fear of being accused as a lesbian.'

She said by e-mail that she wasn't immediately available to speak with the Associated Press yesterday, but confirmed the resignation.

Additional attempts to reach her were unsuccessful.

She earlier had told the Times Herald-Record in New York that she was openly gay to her family and friends during high school.

In the letter, she said she fabricated a heterosexual dating history to share with any fellow cadets who asked.

'In short, I have lied to my classmates and compromised my integrity and identity by adhering to existing military policy,' she said.

Ranked ninth in the class of more than 1,100 cadets about to start their third year, Ms. Miller's resignation letter was dated a week before she would be required to sign a commitment to finish her final two years and serve five years in the military.

Jim Fox, a West Point spokes

man, said Ms. Miller will remain at the academy while her request is reviewed. That takes about a week, he said.

Ms. Miller 'is in good standing and has done very well academically, militarily, and physically while at the academy,' Mr. Fox said yesterday. Cadets may withdraw at any point in their first two years without owing the government service or compensation for the education and benefits they've received.

Ms. Miller has been admitted to Yale University as a transfer student, starting in September.

She said she will work through her studies and political activism to win repeal of the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. She said she would apply to return to West Point in the 2011-2012 academic year if the repeal happens soon enough.



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