US: Gay soldier files appeal over $100 White House protest fine

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Dan Choi – who was fined $100 (£65.31) for chaining himself to the White House fence in protest over America’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) law – is refusing to pay the fine.

Metro Weekly reports the former US Army lieutenant has filed notice with the US District Court for the District of Columbia in order to appeal his conviction.

Despite facing mental strain from his continuing legal battle, earlier this month Choi sent a defiant email to his supporters, saying: “While I thank you for your personal concerns, I have decided that we can never pay a $100 fee for freedom, no way can we afford such a tax of liberty and justice”, he added: “We battle on behalf of our future brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, who also deserve a world of equality. Thank you everyone who kept the faith”.

Last month, Choi was found guilty and fined $100 (£65.31) over a criminal misdemeanour.

In November 2010, Choi was arrested after handcuffing himself to the White House fence, along with 12 other gay rights campaigners.

The protest was regarding Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a homophobic law which banned openly gay members of the armed forces.

Choi believes his actions helped force President Obama to abolish the policy.

DADT was finally repealed in September 2011.