Air Force Sgt. Jene Newsome never told anyone in the military that she is a lesbian, but she nevertheless received an honorable discharge from the military under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) law. The Air Force found out about Newsome’s marriage to another woman when police officers in Rapid City, SD, discovered her marriage license after they came to her home for other reasons:
The Rapid City Police Department says Newsome, an aircraft armament system craftsman who spent nine years in the Air Force, was not cooperative when they showed up at her home in November with an arrest warrant for her partner, who was wanted on theft charges in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Newsome was at work at the base at the time and refused to immediately come home and assist the officers in finding her partner, whom she married in Iowa — where gay marriage is legal — in October.
Police officers, who said they spotted the marriage license on the kitchen table through a window of Newsome’s home, alerted the base, police Chief Steve Allender said. The license was relevant to the investigation because it showed both the relationship and residency of the two women, he said.
Newsome and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a complaint against the police department, “claiming the officers violated her privacy when they informed the military about her sexual orientation.” Newsome also believes that “the officers were retaliating because she wouldn’t help with her partner’s arrest.” Allender “said the department was finishing its internal investigation and has determined the officers acted appropriately.” While the Pentagon does its full review of how to repeal DADT, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has suggested no longer expelling someone based on third-party outings.