Sailor says he's victim of homophobia

March 9, 2011 at 11:40 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C., March 9 (UPI) -- A U.S. Navy petty officer accused of unprofessional conduct in his room said the charge against him was motivated by homophobia.

Stephen Jones, 21, a student at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, S.C., was cited with dereliction of duty after he fell asleep in a bed with another male sailor while watching a movie, ABC News reported Wednesday.

Jones was on top of the covers wearing pajama pants and a t-shirt while his friend, Brian McGee, was under the blanket on Jones' twin bed, according to an account of the incident.

Several days later, Jones and McGee were cited for dereliction of duty for "willfully failing to exhibit professional conduct."

McGee accepted the charge and had his pay docked but Jones refused.

Jones' civilian attorney Gary Meyers said because the command didn't have enough evidence to start an investigation under "don't ask, don't tell," it is using subterfuge to achieve the same result.

A spokesman for the command did not respond to its requests for a comment, ABC News said.

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