"Joe Steffan was born and raised in a small town in Minnesota, where he was taught the America's founding fathers had ensured our basic rights and personal freedoms. He was soon to find out it wasn't true." "Salutatorian of his high school class, a standout both on the track team and in the school choir, Joe seemed to embody the virtues of the all-American boy. He decided to pursue a career in the military and gained admission to the Naval Academy at Annapolis - the most selective college in the country at the time." "While a fourth of his classmates would eventually fail to meet the grueling mental and physical demands of Annapolis, Joe flourished, rising to a top leadership position, with direct responsibility for eight hundred of his classmates. Then, just weeks short of his graduation, Joe was hauled into his commandant's office, and confronted with a rumor that he was gay (Joe figured later that the culprit was one of two close friends to whom he had confided doubts about his sexuality). Abiding by the honor code of the Academy. which states that "A midshipman doesn't lie, cheat or steal," Joe refused to deny the rumor. Within a week he was stripped of his rank, denied his degree, and told to resign or face being kicked out. His previous record meant nothing." "Honor Bound is Joe's own story - about his career at the Naval Academy, his public humiliation, and his fight for justice. We vividly experience Annapolis, where there is much to admire - the arcane and interesting traditions, the excellent education, the means offered for developing leadership capabilities. Yet Joe also exposes the underside the Navy would rather we not know about - abuses of power, bizarre hazing rituals, blatant sexism, the harassment of women and minorities, and the existence of a gay underground and the shocking hypocrisy that results from being forced to cower in the closet."
"Here also is Joe's struggle to gain justice through the legal system - including the Navy's desperate attempts to uncover new irrelevant evidence to shore up its case; an "impartial" judge who refers to Joe as a "homo"; and the discovery of secret military studies that conclude there is no reason, save political, why gays should not serve." "In a time when religious and political extremists threaten to overturn America's tradition of equal rights and personal freedoms, and makes the case for tolerance and fairness in stirring personal terms."--Jacket.