SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Nine Army linguists, including six trained to speak Arabic, have been dismissed from the military because they are gay.
The soldiers' dismissals come at a time when the military is facing a critical shortage of translators and interpreters for the war on terrorism.
Seven of the soldiers were discharged after telling superiors they are gay, and the two others got in trouble when they were caught together after curfew, said Steve Ralls, spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group that defends homosexuals in the military.
Six were specializing in Arabic, two were studying Korean and one was studying Mandarin Chinese. All were at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, the military's primary language training center.
The government has aggressively recruited Arabic speakers since the Sept. 11 attacks ...
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