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Funeral set for sergeant active in gay rights

BROCTON — A funeral has been set for a former U.S. Army sergeant from New York who publicly challenged the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays in the military.

Darren Manzella of Rochester was hit and killed by a vehicle in the suburb of Pittsford last Thursday while trying to push his car off of a highway after an accident.

Local media reports the funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Dominic’s Roman Catholic Church in the Chautauqua County village of Brocton.

The 36-year-old ex-soldier fought against the former military policy barring gay soldiers from revealing their sexuality. He was discharged from the Army in 2008 after revealing during a television interview that he was gay.

Manzella married his partner in July.