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The Region

Citing a policy forbidding homosexuality, a Navy board in San Diego decided that a sailor who is dying of acquired immune deficiency syndrome should be discharged without medical retirement benefits. The discharge board will forward its decision to Washington, where the Department of the Navy will have the final say, Navy spokeswoman Julie Swan said. The panel found that Petty Officer 3rd Class Bryon G. Kinney, 28, a medical corpsman for seven years, was a homosexual and thus enlisted fraudulently. He was given a general discharge under honorable conditions but will not receive medical or disability benefits. He may, however, receive medical care at Veterans Administration hospitals, Swan said. Attorneys for Kinney said they will appeal the decision through Navy channels and file suit in federal court. “What he needs is a medical retirement so he can be comfortable in his last days,” ACLU lawyer Tom Homann said. “This is the cruelest decision they could have made.”


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