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Gay soldier dies in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON – A gay American soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, and his death was acknowledged Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

On the floor of the House, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran read a letter he had received from an active duty soldier in Afghanistan. Moran said the soldier had “learned that a fellow soldier was also gay, only after he was killed by an IED in Iraq. The partner of the deceased soldier wrote the unit to say how much the victim had loved the military; how they were the only family he had ever known."

The soldier originally provided the letter in response to an inquiry for the Pentagon's current study of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

This is the second publicly known case of a gay soldier killed in action during the current wars in the Middle East. The first was U.S. Army Major Alan Rogers, who died while on patrol in Iraq in January 2008.

Statisticians have estimated that more than 200 gay and lesbian service members have perished since the onset of the conflict. Military leaders this week suggested in congressional hearings that gay and lesbian troops disrupt the force. That position was widely disputed by groups that are studying the issue, including the Palm Center, a think tank at the University of California Santa Barbara.

"It is important to honor the sacrifice of all American troops, and we do so today and always," said Dr. Nathaniel Frank, senior research fellow at the Palm Center.

About the Palm Center
The Palm Center has been a leader in commissioning and disseminating research in the areas of gender, sexuality, and the military. For more information visit