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Lesbian ex-cadet denied West Point slot

Katherine Miller reapplied after leaving the academy. Katherine Miller reapplied after leaving the academy.
Associated Press / April 28, 2011

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ALBANY, N.Y. — A lesbian former cadet who left West Point after saying she could not live a lie was rejected for readmission yesterday because of the lingering military ban on gays. She said she is giving up on her dream of graduating from the academy.

Katherine Miller said in a statement that she plans to graduate from Yale University, which she is now attending, and join the military through officer candidate school.

“Although I am deeply saddened that I will not be readmitted to West Point, I understand and respect the decision,’’ said the 21-year-old from Findlay, Ohio.

Miller left West Point last year and soon became a public face of the effort to repeal the policy known as don’t ask, don’t tell, which bars gays and lesbians from serving openly. But she missed the storied academy and reapplied as the government moved to repeal.

In announcing Miller’s rejection, West Point issued a statement explaining that it could not accept Miller because of the still-existing ban, but hinting that reentry would not be a problem for her in the future.

Still, the decision highlights activists’ complaints that the Defense Department’s too-deliberate process is holding things up for gays and lesbians who want to serve.

The repeal is supposed go into effect 60 days after the president and senior defense advisers certify it will not hurt troops’ ability to fight. That could occur by late summer or early fall, by some estimates.

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