They Didn't Ask, He Didn't Tell, They Assumed He Was Gay and Targeted Him

This post, written by Pam Spaulding, originally appeared on Pam's House Blend

Steve Ralls of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and The Bilerico Project points to yet another gay witchhunt case, that of PFC Christopher Mastromarino, covered by Julie A. Weisberg for PageOneQ:
After enduring months of homophobic harassment and slurs, a decorated soldier with an exemplary service record may have been targeted for dismissal by his Army superiors because they think that he is gay.
But the onslaught of anti-gay comments directed toward him went unchallenged and unabated.
Mastromarino said within a few months of joining The Old Guard in October 2005, soldiers in his unit began to spread rumors about his sexuality, after he moved in with his openly gay cousin and partner who lived in the Washington, D.C. area.
"I realized it was a different climate than what I experienced in my previous units," Mastromarino said, adding he had never had any problems at any of the other units he had served with in the past.
Although he tried to joke about the homophobic comments, it did not take long, Mastromarino said, for the rumors to become something more venomous, aggressive and frequent.
"People started calling me 'fag' and `queer'. And I've had people write things on the bathroom wall about me like, 'Mastro is a faggot'" he said. In addition, Mastromarino said it eventually got to the point that often when he would walk into a room, other soldiers would say things such as, "Fags shall die," and "I wish all queers would disappear." "It started becoming hateful," he said.
So, in early 2006, Mastromarino reported the harassment to his Equal Opportunity Officer who assured him that the issue would be addressed and the harassment stopped. It did not.
Though this was bad enough, the next January, Mastromarino was the target of charges -- a soldier alleged that Mastromarino accosted him, and bent him over and spread his legs as if he were going to frisk him.

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