Conduct Unbecoming?

The Pentagon loses a round as the gays-in-the-military controversy heads for the Supreme Court

Few midshipmen at Annapolis shone as brightly as Joseph Steffan. He not only ranked among the top 10 in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1987 but as a battalion commander, had under his command one-sixth of the school's students. Then, just six weeks before graduation, Steffan told a fellow midshipman that he was gay. Although there was no evidence that Steffan had ever engaged in a homosexual act, a disciplinary board determined that his sexual orientation was reason enough for discharge. Academy officials downgraded Steffan's military performance from A to F, and Steffan was forced to resign.


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