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US Marine faces 'other than honorable discharge' over criticizing Obama on Facebook

Washington, Mon, 16 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, Apr 16 (ANI): A US Marine, who was accused of criticising President Barack Obama on Facebook, is facing an 'other than honorable discharge,' a move, which according to his lawyer is an infringement on his right to free speech.

Sergeant Gary Stein, 26, has maintained a webpage for the last two years about the armed forces tea party group he founded, including a disclaimer that the views were his own and didn't reflect those of his employer.

But according to his attorney, Stein never ran into any trouble until last month, when he criticized Obama, saying he will not follow his orders.

"Screw Obama. I will not follow all orders from him," Stein wrote on his Facebook page.

An administrative separation board made up of three Marines then recommended that Stein receive an 'other than honorable discharge' from the Marine Corps.

This means Stien, whose contract with the Marines was scheduled to expire on July 28, would not receive any benefits following his nine years of military service, ABC News reports.

Stein tried to stop the tribunal's processes by filing a preliminary injunction in the US District Court in California. But on Friday, federal judge Marilyn Huff denied the request.

One of Stein's attorneys, J. Mark Brewer, said they are 'very disappointed' with the court's decision.

"We were very diappointed because we feel very strongly that the Department of Defense regulation that was used to oust Sgt. Stein is not constitutional, because the law is really clear that a person does not give up their First Amendment right of free speech when they go into the military," Brewer said. (ANI)

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