US Navy officer censured for anti-gay hazing

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A retired US Navy officer has been censured to allowing a junior to be given anti-gay nicknames.

Commander Liam Bruen was the leader of the Strike Fighter Squadron 136 at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach when the 2009 incident took place at a meeting to discuss call signs for new officers.

Steve Crowston, one of the new recruits, was given the call sign ‘Romo’s Bitch’. Other names voted for were ‘Gay Boy’ and ‘Fagmeister’.

The junior officer then filed a complaint and it was found that he had suffered hazing, sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

Bruen retired this year after his superiors found him “detached for cause” for the 2009 incident and other issues.

Announcing the censure on Friday, Navy officials said Bruen had failed to show “appropriate leadership and demonstrated a profound lack of judgment”.

Crowston, in an email to Navy Times, wrote: “After 18 long months, the substantiated findings of sexual harassment and hazing are a victory for the gay, lesbian, and bisexual members serving in the Navy and throughout the Armed Forces.

“No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Hopefully this case will encourage gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to stand up even more so for themselves and fight homophobic bigotry anytime and anywhere.”

The US military’s ban on openly gay troops is to be lifted on September 20th.