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Sailor: Navy Trying to Boot Me Over Sleepover With Male

Stephen C. Jones, friend fell asleep while watching movie, he says
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2011 10:27 AM CST

(Newser) – The story, as told by Navy Petty Officer Stephen C. Jones, sounds pretty innocent: On Feb. 5, a male sailor came to his room to watch The Vampire Diaries. They fell asleep. End of story. Except it wasn't. The Washington Post reports that while there's no evidence that anything sexual occurred, Navy officials have charged Jones with dereliction of duty and are moving to discharge him. Jones and his lawyer say that higher-ups suspect he's gay and want to give him the boot for that; a Navy rep denied their claim.

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The Navy's report of the incident says that Jones's roommate returned after midnight to find the two asleep in their boxers (Jones says he was wearing pajama pants and a T-shirt). Jones, who called the encounter platonic, has been charged with what the Post calls a "vague transgression": "willful failure to exhibit professional conduct" in his quarters at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command near Charleston. Command "cannot invoke 'don't ask, don't tell' because there is no homosexual conduct and there is no admission of homosexuality. Yet this homophobic Command is using its suspicions to reach the same result as though there were," said his lawyer. "This is bigotry disguised as the rule of law." When asked whether he was gay, Jones said: "That is my business and my business alone." (Read more Navy stories.)

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