Saturday, September 25, 2010

More Good News...

That's the second federal judge to rule that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is unconstitutional:

SEATTLE – A U.S. federal court today ruled in favor of Major Margaret Witt, a decorated U.S. Air Force flight nurse who had been dismissed under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy because she is a lesbian, and ordered the U.S. Air Force to reinstate her. After six days of trial, Judge Robert Leighton found that Major Witt's sexual orientation does not negatively impact unit morale or cohesion. ACLU of Washington attorneys have represented Major Witt since her case began in 2006.

"Today we heard the hammer of justice strike for Major Margaret Witt," said Kathleen Taylor, Executive Director of the ACLU of Washington. "We look forward to the day when all members of our military can serve our country without invidious discrimination. To discharge Major Witt simply because of her sexual orientation was entirely unfair to her and unwise for the military, which needs her significant skills."

The first breakthrough in the case came in 2008 when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Air Force must prove that discharging Major Witt is necessary for purposes of military readiness. Although the ruling left in place the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, it sent the case back to the trial court saying that before discharging a soldier under the policy, the military must prove that the individual's conduct actually hurts morale and unit cohesion. This requirement is now known as the "Witt Standard."

"I want to serve my country. I have loved being in the military – my fellow airmen have been my family. I am proud of my career and want to continue doing my job," said Major Witt. "Wounded people never asked me about my sexual orientation. They were just glad to see me"...


Never mind what may or may not happen in November. On this count, times are changing, whether the homophobes damn well like it or not. If they don't want to change with the times, they won't -- and basically, the rest of us aren't going to care. We'll just leave them behind...


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