UPDATE: Getting word via Twitter from Scott Wooledge (a.k.a Clarknt67), who is at DC Superior Court, that the case against Choi and Pietrangelo was dismissed:
Gov’t silences a voice for #lgbt equality: @ltdanchoi has his case dismissed. No trial #dadt
More tweets from the scene here._______________________
Last night, BRAVO aired the episode of Kathy Griffin’s reality show where she came to DC to “lobby” for DADT repeal. Actually, DC was just the backdrop for her show and that includes the staged rally in Freedom Plaza. It was all for the t.v. show. But, as we all know, a funny thing happened at the rally: Dan Choi made it real. He and Jim Pietrangelo marched to the White House where they handcuffed themselves to the fence to protest Obama’s failure to lead on DADT repeal. The Griffin show did include Dan’s speech to the rally and showed photos of Dan and Jim handcuffed to the fence.
Along with four others, they did the same thing in April.
GetEQUAL’s sent a press release yesterday that provides a succinct explanation of today’s proceedings:
Lt. Dan Choi and Cpt. James Pietrangelo will stand trial in DC Superior Court on charges stemming from Lt. Choi’s and Cpt. Pietrangelo’s arrests on March 18 and April 20 when they chained themselves to the White House gate, in an act of non-violent, civil disobedience, to protest the President’s lack of leadership on repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The men are facing a non-jury trial on two counts of “Failure to Obey a Lawful Order,” pursuant to DC Municipal Regulations (18 DCMR 2000.2 (1995).
Lawyers for Choi and Pietrangelo have subpoenaed President Obama, but I don’t expect to see him at the court house.
UPDATE with more background from GetEQUAL:
Lt. Dan Choi and Cpt. James Pietrangelo II are each charged with two counts of Failure to Obey a Lawful Order, pursuant to DC Municipal Regulations (18 DCMR 2000.2 (1995); these charges stem from arrests at the White House sidewalk, on two separate occasions, March 18, 2010 and April 20, 2010. They face a nonjury trial on both charges, on Wed., July 14, 2010, in Courtroom 120 of DC Superior Court. This Court is located at 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC. These are relatively minor charges (the Defendants may only be fined, from $100 to $1000, and may not receive jail time for these infractions). However, the Defendants seek to use their trials to highlight the ongoing effects of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law and policy of the U.S. Armed Forces toward gay and lesbian service members