Thursday, December 23, 2010

First person to shake Obama's hand after signing of DADT repeal was gay marine major not previously out

The Miami Herald's Steve Rothaus, reports that a gay Miami Beach man Walker Burttschell, outed and discharged from the Marines in 2003 after someone hacked his email account, attended President Obama's repeal-of-DADT signing ceremony.
Tuesday morning, Burttschell attended the signing ceremony with a close friend -- a gay active-duty Marine major still in the closet.
     Burttschell said that immediately after Obama signed the repeal, the Marine major "grabbed me and dragged me down the aisle."
     The closeted Marine reached out to Obama. "The first person to shake his hand was a Marine who was not out until today. A powerful statement,'' Burttschell said. "He intro­­duced me to the president as a Marine and [Obama] said, 'Good fight, Marine!'

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