Remember Keith Meinhold? Yeah, Riptide didn't either -- mostly because we were more into reading Goosebumps books back when the gay Navy officer made headlines in all the big newspapers. It was the summer of 1992. And even the paragon of media integrity The Rush Limbaugh Show followed his story.
It was messed up. Although Meinhold was a decorated combat veteran and ranked in the top 10 percent of all Navy instructors, the military gave him the boot because he outed himself to an ABC Nightline reporter. "It was five words. I just said, 'I am in fact gay,' " he remembers. "My commanding officer called me an hour after it aired and told me not to report back to work." (After a lawsuit, he was readmitted.)
Meinhold, 47, who now lives in Miami Shores, has some strong opinions about repealing that archaic and silly law Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He and Progress Florida are circulating a petition to abolish it. (Sign it here.)
"To me, this has nothing to do with gay rights," he says. "It's about military efficiency and the security of our country. We are turning away talented people."
Hear that, Obama? Let's get this party started.