DADT Court Case Still Vital for Discharged Soldiers

 

With the September 20 retirement of the military’s ban on openly gay service personnel rapidly approaching, one former servicemember discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy has spoken out about why he and other discharged officers are still hoping for victory in an ongoing DADT court case.

Former Air Force officer Mike Almy and two other officers discharged under DADT have taken to the courts  to sue the Justice Department over the constitutionality of DADT. The lawsuit in question, Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, already scored Plaintiff’s one victory when U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips ruled in 2010 that DADT is unconstitutional and that it has harmed gay, lesbian and bisexual servicemembers.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is due to consider arguments in this case on September 1 where Plaintiffs will argue that, even with the policy due to be retired, servicemembers separated from the military under the policy continue to be harmed by its longer lasting effects. For those outed from the military because of DADT the outcome of this lawsuit is of prime concern because it could be the forerunner to further action, says Almy in a comment to the Associated Press.

From SF Gate:

Activists believe if the ruling stands it could open the legal doors to a class-action suit or settlement for many of the almost 14,000 military members discharged under the almost 18-year-old policy that prohibited the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but required discharge of those who acknowledged being gay or were discovered to be having gay sex.

“The sad truth is repeal really does nothing for people thrown out of the military,” Almy said. “There is no restitution, no reparations, no special personnel process to help those to get back in the military who were thrown out.”

Almy was discharged from the military in 2006 under DADT after a fellow soldier went through Almy’s personal emails and outed him to military officials — this is despite the fact that the Iraq war veteran and highly commended former Air Force major never once disclosed his sexuality, meaning the military actively pursued an investigation against him without his having disclosed his sexual orientation which is something that the DADT rule was supposed to prevent.

The Department of Defense has said there are currently no plans to expeditiously reinstate servicemembers who were discharged under DADT even if they still meet all necessary criteria such as fulfilling fitness requirements.

Related Reading:

Gay Solider on How Air Force Band Video Outed Him

Bachmann Would ‘Probably’ Bring Back DADT

SLDN Releases Post-DADT Service Guide

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to U.S. Army Photostream.

14 comments

tian y.
Past Member 7 years ago

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K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

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Lilithe Magdalene

I am with William and Joe on this one.

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Marilyn L.
Marilyn L7 years ago

I agree Lloyd.

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William Y.
William Y7 years ago

@ Karen & Edward O. Just one clarification, It is not Agent orange per say, but the dioxin impurities that were the problem

Chemically, Agent Orange is an approximately 1:1 mixture of two phenoxyl herbicides – 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) – in iso-octyl ester form. (Wikipedia)

A 50:50 mixture of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D, it was manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense primarily by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical. The 2,4,5-T used to produce Agent Orange was later discovered to be contaminated with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin, an extremely toxic dioxin compound. (Wikipedia)

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Karen & Edward O.
Karen and Ed O7 years ago

Back in the Vietnam war, the US used a anti-defoliant called Agent Orange to destroy crops and to make it easier to see the Viet Cong. This horrible chemical made some of the men and women fighting this senseless war, ill over the years. Of course the military in collusion with the US government, namely the Department of Veteran Affairs tried not to pay for any of the treatments for the various afflictions. A very small part of the people afflicted were eventually paid but these people are still suffering the effects.
Obviously, once a person is out of the military they're on their own. The military doesn't seem to take responsibility for the lasting effects, both physically and mentally, on the men and women who endangered their lives for this country.
Restitution and compensation is an issue that shouldn't even be an issue. It should be the normal course of a humane society.

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William Y.
William Y7 years ago

This is a nobrainer, they should have everything dismissed, benifits instated or reinstated and be able to return to the military if they wish. They were screwed by a stupid law, they shouldn't continue to be screwed. DADT & its cousin DOMA never should have existed in the first place.
Get rid of both of these bigoted right wing BS laws.

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Pedro Calvillo Serrano

No debe haber ningun tipo de discriminacion en el servicio al Estado, ni de raza, ni religioso ni condición sexual.

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Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Joe R. I agree with your comment.

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Lloyd A.
Doug Alley7 years ago

This needs to be resolved, especially in light of the changes coming up in DADT. These men and women served our country honorably and are now paying the price for the redneck stupidity of past generations. Lets get them exonerated and even back on active duty if they so choose.

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