Stephen C. Jones, a 21-year-old Navy petty officer, insists he and another sailor friend merely fell asleep, wearing only their boxers, in the same bed while watching The CW’s The Vampire Diaries, featuring that dreamy (and often shirtless) Ian Somerhalder. “That is the honest, entire story,” insists Jones. But Navy brass thinks otherwise. And now they’re trying to discharge him — not under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which is all but dead and not enforced much these days, but by claiming Jones committed the crime of “willful failure to exhibit professional conduct” in his bachelor-specified quarters. Ugh.
Jones, who’s stationed at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command outside Charleston, can’t tell the Washington Post whether or not he’s gay, since DADT is still technically in effect. (He could, of course, state he is heterosexual without risk of discharge.) But his sexuality is irrelevant. So, too, would it be irrelevant if he GAVE A HAND JOB TO ANOTHER MAN IN HIS QUARTERS. (Unless there are rules that sailors, male or female, enlisted as “single” cannot have sexual relations in their own pads? If so, let me know and I’ll update this, but I couldn’t find any such rules. And screwing around with dudes on its own does not, in fact, violate DADT.)
The point is that not only does the Navy have zero evidence Jones violated DADT, it has no evidence he violated any less discriminatory rule, let alone “willful failure to exhibit professional conduct.” And yet he’s being pushed out.
The fateful night was discovered, or whatever, by Jones’ roommate Tyler Berube, who returned home from a trip to find Jones and the other male sailor, Brian McGee, asleep in their drawers. When he woke them, the men put their clothes on and the other sailor left.
The investigative summary and charging documents do not specify how Jones’s actions constituted unprofessional conduct. Jones said his friend often stopped by his room to watch videos, and noted that visiting hours lasted until 2 a.m. that Saturday night. He and his attorney said they have repeatedly asked the Navy for clarification.
Dougan, the Navy spokesman, acknowledged that no regulation specifically prohibits sailors from falling asleep in the same bed. But he said rules do require them to “behave professionally in the barracks” and that Bailey, the commanding officer, concluded that Jones and McGee had not done so. “The determination was that two sailors sharing the same rack was unprofessional.”
So what happened to McGee? He was also charged, but copped a plea for a lesser infraction, which means he was subjected to docked pay but can keep his job. Jones, meanwhile, is challenging the charges against him.
And in a huge red flag, Jones says Capt. Thomas W. Bailey asked McGee “if being a homosexual was going to be an issue” if he stayed in the Navy. UM, HELLO? Doesn’t DADT specifically state soldiers will not be quizzed on their sexual orientation? Yep. Which means if Bailey’s statement is accurate, that’s a violation right there. By a captain.
Says Jones’ civilian (not military) lawyer Gary Myers: “The subterfuge is, they believe this kid is a homosexual, but they have no proof of it. So what they’ve done here is to trump this thing up as a crime. This is not a crime.”
Meanwhile, let’s not forget how Navy brass found out about Jones’ accidental sleepover: his roommate tattled on him. DUDE. What the hell happened to the bro code among shipmates?
If the Navy is seriously going to pursue these charges, they’ll have to come up with a better explanation for the charges. Because there are untold thousands of undoubtedly straight servicemembers out there, in all five military branches, who should be kicked out of the armed forces right this second for accidentally dozing off with a buddy. This entire investigation sounds like a crock of anti-gay shit.
[Note: That is not Jones pictured in the photo.]
This case points out why it’s important to pursue the federal court challenges to DADT. If the military brass can arbitrarily throw up some vague “morals” complaint to get rid of people they suspect to be gay, the Congressional “repeal” doesn’t mean very much.
Many gay veterans warned us this would happen.
A 21-year-old made an error in judgement? *face-palm*
If the same charges were to be filed if he had a female soldier in the same situation, this story is kind of moot. Unfortunately, we will never know if the charges would be filed if he fell asleep in the same bed as another woman instead of another man.
I kind of feel sorry for his bunkmate who reported it…
As Alex Nicholson put it, just because DADT is repealed doesn’t mean discrimination has effectively ended. Anti-gay discrimination is very alive and well in the military, and it’s probably going to get worse now that DADT is repealed, just in more back handed ways than previous. Reportedly, this guy isn’t actually gay. Falling asleep in a bed with another guy is considered willful unprofessional conduct that automatically makes you a homosexual with “issues”. Be WARNED everyone before enlisting if that was something you were planning.
@justiceontherocks: If the higher ups are homophobes, they’ll find a way to get the gays ousted, DADT or not DADT. While I am glad the unconstitutional policy is repealed, I fear for the people who will enlist in droves once it is officially gone, live as out gays, and face this crap. They probably aren’t thinking along the lines of stuff like this happening. Hell, is this guy even gay at all? They just don’t want two dudes in a bed together less than fully clothed, regardless of whether or not there was sex. And if there had been, chances are they’d be naked, not wearing boxers.
Yes, they should be discharged. (for being stupid and reckless)
@Shannon1981: Exactly. Unless the very top brass makes it clear that a witch hunt by any other name is still a witch hunt, punitive discharges will continue and probably increase.
@Oprah: Based on your stupid and reckless comment, we now officially discharge you.
@justiceontherocks: You couldn’t pay me enough to join the military right now. Until the BS stops, its still a bad environment for gays, period. And you are right, the discharges will continue. They won’t discharge you for admitting to being LGB, but they WILL discharge you for looking like you participate in LGB sex. That’s a big WTF in my book. Can’t handle it. Besides, I am so flamboyant that even the dumbest, most clueless person would know. People who fall into that category are automatic targets no matter what. Unfortunately, the homophobes are still in power, whether the law says so or not. There all kinds of backhanded ways to purge the military of gays. Rest assured they’ll do it. I really hope people aren’t going to flock to the nearest recruiting office any time soon, for their own sakes.
I say hold gay pride at the nearest base and run the homophobes off. Pink tanks, glitter and all. Only way.
There are 5 military branches…not 4…
This story totally gave me a boner.
How is falling asleep while watching TV with a friend somehow unprofessional???
Oh, maybe it was the were watching The Vampire Diaries. That would TOTALLY explain and justify it.
They’re already trying to figure out ways to keep kicking out gays even if DADT falls.
[email protected] But, you gotta admit it was stupid of them to lay next to each other in boxer watching a moving with a word like ‘Diaries’. Seriously? LOL
Aaahh i think it was two grown men, supposedly heterosexual, but looking kinda gay, laying down together in their boxers watching you know what. How romantic. LOL
@Oprah: Well, they didn’t mean to lay next to each other and sleep in their boxers. But they were very tired after spending all that energy . . . watching the TV, of course.
Great, i am glad we agree. OF course, they were only watching TV. 🙂
proud to serve
Some of us are more concerned with servinng our country than caring what other people *might* think about us. There are a couple flamers here and they are the nicest guys. They’re good Airmen and are respected for it. I’m a total butch and anybody with any exposure to LGB people/culture figures out I’m gay real quick but I don’t tell anyone and I go about my duties. What branch one serves in also has a big influence. AF, Navy & CG don’t really give a $hit (the more educated branches) whereas Army & Marine ground punders (simple grunts) are already covering their @$$holes & ready to scream rape.
proud to serve
Some of us are more concerned with servinng our country than caring what other people *might* think about us. There are a couple flamers here and they are the nicest guys. They’re good Airmen and are respected for it. I’m a total butch and anybody with any exposure to LGB people/culture figures out I’m gay real quick but I don’t tell anyone and I go about my duties. What branch one serves in also has a big influence. AF, Navy & CG don’t really give a $hit (the more educated branches) whereas Army & Marine ground pounders (simple grunts) are already covering their @$$holes & ready to scream rape.
As a strong conservative, I have to say… Gay, Straight, White, Black, Yellow with Purple Poka-Dots. This is outrageous. I personally know this Sailor … he is honest and an all around good person. He is strong and diligent when he sees and injustice to anyone. I am saddened by the treatment that he has received. I am ashamed that he was told out right that he was being “separated” from the Navy because “he might have done something”. Did you catch that I said he was told he was being punished because “he MIGHT do something”? Has America lost sight of what we are supposed to be standing for? We are supposed to be the Nation that sets the example to all other countries. So many of our Soldiers have died just for that. Then the “face” of America, our very own Military, now feels that they do not even have to follow our own laws…the same laws, and rights that they say they are dying to defend?! I am disgusted. I am ashamed and I am heartbroken. No one needs to ask what has happened to youth today, because they have NO representation of how America should be. When our Military and our Law Enforcement is no longer held to a higher standard~then no one should think that the younger generation will have the respect that is needed. Under the “reasoning “ for Stephens “separation” , everyone who has ever had a drink should be punished because they “might” get drunk and drive. Everyone who has ever been mad should be punished because they “might” get mad enough to be violent. Is this REALLY where we want America to go? Conservative as I may be… I am an American first and I DO NOT stand by our Military for this. I just hope that a little justice can be still be found for Stephen and any other person that has had the Government stomp on their God given American rights.
Everyone seems to only half read the articles, if taken from the Post, Stephen’s roommate said they were in boxers, Stephen stated he was in Pajamas. Proof is proof conviction or punishment without it is unjust.
This is just the type of idiotic act that’ll give juice to our enemies. We should spread the word to queers in uniform. Be super careful. No sleepovers. Etc… Etc…
@proud to serve: It isn’t about caring what people think. Heaven knows I don’t care about that. It’s about being targeted and harassed in the workplace, and wondering day to day if you have a job or not. What you are doing is patriotic and admirable, and I applaud you for it, no matter how foolish I think it is in the current climate.
Gee, when they lowered the IQ requirements for the military, I didn’t think it would percolate up to the top brass so quickly!
I know a lot of people on here bemoaned the training process associated with DODT repeal that is happening now. Perhaps some of this “training” will help prevent things like this from happening. There are a lot of thick skulls out there that need to be told that trumping up charges on people who may be suspected of being LGB will not be tolerated. Let’s at least hope that part of the process of repealing DODT is drawing clear lines on what is considered proper and what is not. It’s obvious that some people still haven’t gotten the memo.
We’re in the “last gasp” portion of the program.
I’m glad Jones is fighting this. We need every possible precident set to avoid continued frivolous attempts at discrediting our gay troops.
@proud to serve —–Thanks for weighing in with that perspective. As a civilian it gives me a viewpoint I would not otherwise have had.
@justice ——– whenever I see you on here I think to myself while writing, “the audience is watching now check your spelling”. 😉
@Proud to Serve ——– PS After I read your post I saw written across these military homophobe’s fatigues butts in hot pink “off limits” which would be applicable except for the eye winking tween the two words.
Just a side note…
If our great military is protecting America, shouldn’t they be IN America? The last time I protected my spouse, I did not move overseas, destroy their economy, bomb their infrastructure and subjegate foreign nations to my rule. Think about it deeply. “We are fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here.” With that kind of thinking, we should round up every man in the USA because – If we catch all the rapists now, we won’t have rape later. Going to foreign nations to topple their elected democratic leader sounds a lot like nationbuilding.
By supporting these sham wars – we disgrace ourselves, our nation and our Democracy. All these wars have done is make a select few rich and alert the vast majority of Americans (and foreign nations)to the fact that America is on the wrong track.
Don’t call this a Republican-caused situation. Obama has been pushing and increasing and stepping up these repugnant efforts – just as the CIA wishes. Remember that our intelligence said there were only 100 people involved in 9/11. Since we’ve now spent (AN additional) $17,000,000,000 on the military, homeland security – that’s about … $170,000,000 per terrorist. Unfortunately, we’ve made this war for-profit and the corporations now SAY there are 20,000 more terrorists. Open your checkbook, they want more. Much more
If I want pure profit from the American Sheeple, I know to go into the terrorism-protection racket.
Until the sheeple address this scam, we will get poorer and the corporations will continue to profit billions.
Up with this bullshit, I will not put!
This is fishy…how could anybody “fall alseep” during Vampire Diaries….That show rocks!!!
it’s just the new way to get rid of gays in the army/navy…then you’ll find out the officer in charge of the courtmartial was also sleeping with someone…no surprise anymore….
Tshower together, poop together, listen to each other jo at night and the brass are shocked…shocked!….that they were in their skivvies together? Let’s all go …..puh leez.
in response to the confusion about male/female relations in the BEQs, members of the opposite sex are not allowed in each others rooms at all, so falling asleep in a female’s bed would have had even worse consequences (probably). However, there is no rule about members of the same sex hanging out in bedrooms together; in fact, I’d say video games and movie nights are what get these sailors through one of the most mentally difficult training programs that the military offers. I am the girlfriend of a sailor who went through this school. We are both impressed with a man who was strong enough to lose his job so that the public could see the injustice happening in our military (if they don’t like you, they’ll do whatever it takes to get you out), yet quite saddened that he had to lose his job to make this point. The repeal of DADT, as suspected, has done little to end the discrimination against the LGBT community. And our tax dollars are paying for the discrimination.
Write letters to your representatives.
It could be considered fraternization if they are on the same ship together. The military has a lot of regulations about sex. In the military you can get kicked out for having an affair regardless if your the one that is married or not. Even if they completely get rid of DADT sex is still only permitted for reproductive purposes and only in the missionary position…no joke.
In my opinion, this guy is a hero. From what I’ve been reading the Navy has admitted no rules were broken. He’s standing up and making sure this doesn’t happen again and I really hope he’s victorious.
@McMike: Yeah I’m kinda with McMike on htis… had it been Toro, Toro, Toro they were watching – maybe different out come..
No, seriously though, and with a “Damn-it!!” for emphasis, shouldn’t somebody be checking and confirming launch codes and target coordinates or something? Were they on their way to the coast of Libya? -I can hear the Admiral now…turn the ship around!, we’ve gotta personnel issue of fraternization we have to deal with back in the States first…???
it is a writen order that the oposite sex cannot be in each others baracks so it is implied that you cannot have sex as the dndt is still in effect and if you get caught in action you just told, also it was this roomates duty to report what he saw, which from what i have heard is at best conduct unbecoming of an officer or gentleman, and disobeying a writen order, and at worste complete violation of ucmj articles concerning gay acts and disobeying that writen order. do you really want either a liar or some one who is so stupid that he falls asleep knowing there is a curfew, possibly one of the most simple orders to follow, be in your baracks at a given time, to operate a nuclear powerd warship that has the potential if operated incorectly or maintained poorly or incorectly to destroy the lives of every one aboard (roughly 5k people on an aircraft carrier) and very worste case senario while in a populated port
and fyi, dndt is not repealed yet, yes it will be, and im sure a flood of gays will emerge then, but untill the ucmj article is removed and new rules about sexual conduct in baracks/ on a ship gays should avoid any gay acts or they could easily see this happen to them, conduct unbecoming of an officer or gentleman is a general catch for doing stuff you aught not to, like banging some guy/girl on a rack that will be shared with some one else….
So much for DADT being repealed.
Of course the Obama administration specifically edited out the non-discrimination clause from the bill. Good job Obama, GLBT military personnel are still being forced to stay closeted/on the down low, and not be out about their sexuality.
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