Molly's Reviews

Guilty as ChargedGuilty As Charged
Jay Hathaway
GLB Publishers

Highly recommended

Writer Hatheway presents the story of his confrontation with the US military as he and his attorneys attempted to overturn Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Conduct. Written in a poignant, readable manner Hatheway's book is offered in 15 chapters including: I Must Be a Fag, Special Forces Detachment Europe, The Trial Begins, The Sentence, and My Day of Outrage. This first constitutional challenge to the statutory prohibition of homosexuality did not end in a positive outcome for LT Hatheway, however, it was something he felt he had to do. Only days before he was to be separated from military duty Hatheway was charged with sodomy with another serviceman. Such behavior with court marshall a possible outcome is prohibited by Article 125. For those who have no military background, writer Hatheway begins with 2 pages of military anachronisms and their meanings.

Jay Hatheway's poignant narrative begins in his twenties with the charge of sodomy made against him by the military in 1975 and then recounts his life record as a gay person to the 1970s and the charge. Professor Hatheway's childhood spent in the Middle East, Europe, and California, included his narrated fascination with his sexual discoveries made with male friends along with a growing interest in male nudity. LT Hatheway received a Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship which obligated him to military service following his schooling. That Hatheway was a good soldier of proven ability is obvious: Hatheway's military prowess led to his earning his special forces green beret. Special forces training is not and was not a walk in the park to accomplish.

Hatheway reveals he did take part in cautious homosexual relationships despite his mindfulness of the military's opposition to gays. Following a disastrous encounter initiated by a drunken Robert Lynde, Hathaway discovered himself charged by Lynde with originating and engaging in sex acts with PFC Lynde. Hatheway along with his lawyer Chris Coates was taken to trial surrounded by an atmosphere of discrimination and sophistry. The verdict rendered was to be not guilty or guilty. A guilty verdict was going to lead to dismissal from the service and/or confinement at hard labor for five years.

Today Hatheway is a successful Professor of European History in Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin. He says, "the military is a mirror of society. If inclusion can be achieved there then it can be achieved everywhere."

Gay or straight readers will find this work to be an excellent example of one man's struggle against what he felt was unfair practice conducted by the US military. Hatheway's book is well written, filled with footnotes as one might expect from a scholarly work presented by a college professor and presents his story in a straight forward, no nonsense manner. Excellent read, highly recommended.

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2005 by Molly Martin