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Gay Reservist Appeals Decision

PHOENIX (AP) — A state representative has appealed the Army's decision to kick him out of his reserve unit after he said in legislative debate that he is gay.

The Nov. 1 appeal by Steve May, a first lieutenant, is being reviewed by Major Gen. John Scott of May's reserve unit.

With his appeal, the Phoenix Republican included a letter to President Clinton, signed by 108 members of Congress. The letter urges the president to overturn May's dismissal for violating the military's ``don't ask, don't tell'' policy.

In September, a military panel recommended that May be given an honorable discharge.

May, who was re-elected last week, had been open about his homosexuality since his first campaign for elected office in 1996.

He acknowledged his sexuality during legislative debate in February 1999, while arguing for extending health benefits to same-sex partners. He was an honorably discharged civilian at the time but was called back to the Army a few weeks later, during the Kosovo crisis.

May said he has raised $25,000 to cover legal expenses.

``I am going to fight this thing until I win or the Supreme Court tells me I lost,'' May told The Arizona Republic. ``They tried to malign my character. They made up lies about my record.''
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