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NEWS
November 23, 1993
The U.S. Naval Academy had no comment after gay midshipman Joseph C. Steffan won a court battle to get the diploma that was unfairly denied him six years ago. But you can bet there's talk aplenty behind the Academy gates about what this decision means for the military's policies against homosexuals, including "don't ask, don't tell."Mr. Steffan was forced out of the Naval Academy in 1987, just six weeks before graduation, after confiding his sexual preferences to two classmates. As a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington recognized, his record was "untarnished by even a scintilla of misconduct."
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NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | January 4, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Joseph C. Steffan, a former Annapolis midshipman who is gay, is ending his six-year court battle to get a Naval Academy diploma and ensign's commission and will not take the dispute on to the Supreme Court, he and his lawyers said yesterday.Their decision postpones for at least a year any review by the Supreme Court of the constitutionality of the military services' long-standing policy of discharging almost all gays and lesbians.In a related development yesterday, however, a federal appeals court in New York ordered the immediate speed-up of a new constitutional challenge to the ban. This one tests the Clinton administration's version of the ban: the so-called "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue" policy adopted by the Pentagon and written into law by Congress.
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NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,Staff Writer | February 10, 1993
Former Naval Academy midshipman Joseph Steffan told a college audience last night that the argument about homosexuals in the armed forces mirrors the debate over racial integration of the military in the 1940s. And the problem then was the same as it is now, he said: ignorance and hatred.Mr. Steffan, 28, who was discharged from the academy in 1987 for admitting he was a homosexual, told nearly 400 people at Anne Arundel Community College that the military ban against gay men and women is the last remaining government sanctioned discrimination against a minority group.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | November 23, 1994
WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court has upheld the Naval Academy's removal of a top-ranked midshipman who had acknowledged his homosexuality.Lawyers for the former midshipman, Joseph C. Steffan, said later that they had not decided whether to appeal yesterday's 7-to-3 decision, issued by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Any such appeal, to the Supreme Court, would provide the justices their first opportunity to consider the issue of homosexuals' service in the military.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | February 25, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Former Midshipman Joseph C. Steffan made a new claim yesterday that the Naval Academy violated his constitutional rights by throwing him out after he admitted being gay, saying he was never allowed to defend his right to stay in the Navy.In a legal brief filed in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals here, Mr. Steffan renewed his effort to get his commission as a Navy ensign and his Academy diploma -- both denied him in 1987 when he was discharged six weeks before graduation.He won his constitutional challenge before a three-judge panel of the Circuit Court last November, but the full 10-member court wiped out that victory in January and said it would reconsider the case.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,Staff Writer | February 5, 1993
To the guards at the Naval Academy gates he was just another civilian, strolling the grounds on a cold evening last October. Joseph Steffan had returned to walk the campus alone with his thoughts, having traveled so far in the nine years since he first entered those gates to pursue a Navy career.Joseph Steffan, once the all-American blue-eyed boy brimming with idealism and abiding faith in God, country and the military way, had changed. Now he was Joseph Steffan, the gay ex-midshipmen suing in federal court to end the military ban on homosexuals, a walking challenge to much that is held dear at the academy and back in his little hometown of Warren, Minn.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | February 4, 1993
He is every mother's dream for her daughter to marry: an ex-midshipman, handsome as can be, with a principled intelligence and a diffident way. But there is a hitch: he's gay. And therein lies the story of Joseph Steffan, his battle with himself and his battle with the Navy.These are hectic days for the 28-year-old Mr. Steffan. As the fight over homosexuals and the military rages on, he is in demand. Everyone, it seems, wants to hear how he was kicked out of Annapolis for being gay just a week before graduation in 1987.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | April 10, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for ousted Naval Academy midshipman Joseph C. Steffan, who is gay, have escalated in court their efforts to get him into the Navy as an officer.In a surprise revelation, the attorneys told the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals here that President Ronald Reagan in 1987 had proposed Mr. Steffan for an ensign's commission and the Senate had approved. Both actions came weeks after he left the Academy in disgrace that year, the new legal document indicated.The lawyers' brief Friday did not offer an explanation for the presidential and senatorial action, and the Navy and Justice Department refused to comment.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau | January 8, 1994
WASHINGTON -- A conservative majority of the federal appeals court here yesterday erased gay former Midshipman Joseph C. Steffan's legal victory in his fight to serve in the Navy, forcing the Clinton administration to defend military policy against homosexuals sooner than it wanted.A majority of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals here, in a surprise order, voted to reconsider a decision in November by a three-judge panel that Mr. Steffan was discharged unconstitutionally from the United States Naval Academy and must be reinstated in the Navy and given his commission as an ensign.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau | December 31, 1993
WASHINGTON -- Former Midshipman Joseph C. Steffan, ousted from the Naval Academy in 1987 for being gay, said yesterday that he is not ready to "settle for anything else" than an officer's commission, despite the Clinton administration's objection to that.He and his lawyers, Mr. Steffan said in a telephone interview, "are pursuing what I would have been given if I had graduated from the Academy. It is not beneficial for me to go in as an enlisted person; that was not what I planned, and not what I am entitled to."
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | May 12, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Former Midshipman Joseph C. Steffan, ousted from the Naval Academy after he acknowledged being gay, appeared to be a vote short yesterday in his efforts in federal court to get his diploma and commission.The 11-member U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals showed itself to be split during a spirited 95-minute hearing on Mr. Steffan's constitutional challenge to his discharge in 1987, weeks before graduation.Held in the largest courtroom in the U.S. Courthouse here, with nearly every seat taken, the hearing on the case is considered a major test of the government's power to order gays out of the military.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | April 10, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for ousted Naval Academy midshipman Joseph C. Steffan, who is gay, have escalated in court their efforts to get him into the Navy as an officer.In a surprise revelation, the attorneys told the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals here that President Ronald Reagan in 1987 had proposed Mr. Steffan for an ensign's commission and the Senate had approved. Both actions came weeks after he left the Academy in disgrace that year, the new legal document indicated.The lawyers' brief Friday did not offer an explanation for the presidential and senatorial action, and the Navy and Justice Department refused to comment.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | March 30, 1994
WASHINGTON -- The Clinton administration has urged a federal appeals court to let the military keep out gays in order to shield other service men and women who may object for religious or moral reasons to having such comrades.Commanders and Pentagon officials, the government's new legal argument contends, have no duty to try to find out exactly why members of the service would not want gays in their ranks.It is enough that the military believes those negative attitudes exist on "the complex issue of homosexuality" and assumes that morale and military effectiveness could suffer if those attitudes are not respected, according to the legal brief filed in court late Monday and made available here yesterday.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | February 25, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Former Midshipman Joseph C. Steffan made a new claim yesterday that the Naval Academy violated his constitutional rights by throwing him out after he admitted being gay, saying he was never allowed to defend his right to stay in the Navy.In a legal brief filed in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals here, Mr. Steffan renewed his effort to get his commission as a Navy ensign and his Academy diploma -- both denied him in 1987 when he was discharged six weeks before graduation.He won his constitutional challenge before a three-judge panel of the Circuit Court last November, but the full 10-member court wiped out that victory in January and said it would reconsider the case.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau | January 8, 1994
WASHINGTON -- A conservative majority of the federal appeals court here yesterday erased gay former Midshipman Joseph C. Steffan's legal victory in his fight to serve in the Navy, forcing the Clinton administration to defend military policy against homosexuals sooner than it wanted.A majority of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals here, in a surprise order, voted to reconsider a decision in November by a three-judge panel that Mr. Steffan was discharged unconstitutionally from the United States Naval Academy and must be reinstated in the Navy and given his commission as an ensign.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau | December 31, 1993
WASHINGTON -- Former Midshipman Joseph C. Steffan, ousted from the Naval Academy in 1987 for being gay, said yesterday that he is not ready to "settle for anything else" than an officer's commission, despite the Clinton administration's objection to that.He and his lawyers, Mr. Steffan said in a telephone interview, "are pursuing what I would have been given if I had graduated from the Academy. It is not beneficial for me to go in as an enlisted person; that was not what I planned, and not what I am entitled to."
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,Staff writer | June 21, 1991
A former Washington Redskin told a jury yesterday about his stormy four-year relationship with the woman who has accused real estate broker Gary Hart of rape.James W. Steffan, who played in the NationalFootball League from 1959 to 1968, said he called the police to his Arnold home at least twice because of fights with the woman, once after she wielded a knife.Steffan, 55, and a former defensive back and linebacker, told thejury that he and the woman were having an argument in the kitchen, when she turned toward him and raised the knife she had in her hand.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | December 12, 1990
WASHINGTON -- A former Naval Academy midshipman has won a second chance to pursue his constitutional challenge -- the first case of its kind -- to the forced resignation of military cadets solely because they are gay.Joseph C. Steffan, 26, of Warren, Minn., is seeking to get his diploma and be commissioned as a Navy ensign three years after leaving the academy just weeks before his scheduled graduation. An administrative board had recommended that he be discharged because he admitted to being gay, so he resigned, believing he had no choice.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau | December 30, 1993
WASHINGTON -- The Clinton administration is planning to fight a court order requiring the Navy to give a commission to gay former midshipman Joseph C. Steffan but is not expected to use his case to make a full defense of the military's power against homosexuals, government sources said last night.If the planned legal maneuver succeeds, Mr. Steffan might be able to serve in the Navy, but not as an officer. He might also be eligible to get back pay covering the six years since he was forced out of the Naval Academy, just before graduation and after a much-decorated career as a midshipman.
NEWS
November 23, 1993
The U.S. Naval Academy had no comment after gay midshipman Joseph C. Steffan won a court battle to get the diploma that was unfairly denied him six years ago. But you can bet there's talk aplenty behind the Academy gates about what this decision means for the military's policies against homosexuals, including "don't ask, don't tell."Mr. Steffan was forced out of the Naval Academy in 1987, just six weeks before graduation, after confiding his sexual preferences to two classmates. As a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington recognized, his record was "untarnished by even a scintilla of misconduct."
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