Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Naval Academy Admissions Forum: Parents' Response

The following is an actual letter written by parents of a young woman invited to a Naval Academy Admissions Forum, and shared for public distribution by my friends at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. It is very well written and speaks for itself.

Larry D. Faulkner, USN (Ret.)
Pamela W. Faulkner

Highland Park, Illinois 60035

November 11, 2005

Department of the Navy
Office of Admissions, United States Naval Academy
Attn: Capt. K.D. Frye
117 Decatur Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5017

Re: United States Naval Academy Admissions Information Forum

Capt. Frye:

Our daughter, Molly Faulkner, received your kind letter inviting her to attend the above referenced Forum. Both of us have had the honor of serving in the Navy, one for twenty years, the other for eight. Molly's sister recently transitioned from active duty to reserve service with the US Air Force after serving deployments in both Qatar and Baghdad. We have attempted to instill in each of our children a shared belief in the debt of service we owe our Country and have been pleased to see each of them stand willing to take her turn as they reach the age to do so.

Although the source of our bias is reasonably clear, from even an objective standpoint Molly is an exceptional young woman. An avid athlete, she plays golf, basketball and softball for Highland Park High School, but has placed her emphasis on her golf game and works year-round with a private coach.

Also an excellent student, Molly consistently shoulders a heavy courseload including several honors level classes and receives marks earning no less than "high honors" in any given marking period. She is studying both French and Italian and has absorbed some modicum of understanding in Hebrew through several years of attendance at our synagogue Hebrew school. She is involved in several clubs and is active in our synagogue youth group participating in numerous events involving community service. She is respected among her peers as a steady friend and valued by her adult teachers and mentors for her quick mind, giving spirit and willing hands. In short, she is all that you would consider worthy in a candidate seeking admission to the Brigade of Midshipmen.

Unfortunately, we are certain that you will withdraw your current invitation and will not extend another due not to either her abilities or the content of her character, but for reasons beyond her control. However, we would like it to be perfectly clear that when you delete Molly's name from your database, it will be at your behest and not at ours and based upon policy now so outmoded as to appear ridiculous even to the casual observer.

As may be expected given her maturity and good sense, Molly has long recognized an intrinsic truth about herself. Molly is a lesbian. To her credit, and hopefully in small measure to that of her family and friends, she has been in a position to be honest and forthright regarding this fundamental truth and has found acceptance at every turn with no diminishment of either regard or affection. Neither she, nor we, see any cause for dissembling on this point, her father and I because it is against our inclination, and Molly because her sense of honor and self-worth forbid it. We would not even broach the subject were it not for the knowledge that the very sense of integrity and dignity which would make her an excellent midshipman and officer also render her incapable of adhering to a policy which would require her to commit the offense of lying by omission.

It is, again, with great pleasure that we acknowledge your kind invitation and, were it in her power, you would certainly see Molly in enthusiastic attendance at the Forum. We regret, on your behalf, the loss of the contribution she and so many others like her could and would willingly make towards securing our common goals and doing so in a manner that would bring credit to the traditions of the service.

Please don't hesitate to inform us if the policies, which we believe bar you from including Molly in the appointment process, have been rightfully amended to allow the open and unfettered acceptance of those members of our society who have so much to offer in service to their Country.

Very Respectfully,
Larry D. Faulkner
Pamela W. Faulkner

cc: President George W. Bush, Senator John Warner, Senator Carl Levin, Senator Richard J. Durbin, Senator Barack Obama, Representative Duncan Hunter, Representative Ike Skelton, Representative Mark Kirk


Nancy Taylor said...

Amen! What a wonderful letter.

Monica Barron said...

We would be proud to have her as part of our learning community at Truman State University!