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Servicemembers Kicked Out Under DADT To Receive Full Separation Pay

Jim Burroway

January 7th, 2013

This settlement of a class action lawsuit between the American Civl Liberties Union and the Department of Defense strikes me as a very big deal. According to this ACLU press release:

Former service members who are part of a class action lawsuit challenging a Defense Department policy that cuts in half the separation pay of those who have been honorably discharged for “homosexuality” will receive their full pay after a settlement announced today. 

…Under the settlement, all service members covered by the lawsuit will be contacted by the government and notified that they are eligible to opt in to the settlement and receive 100 percent of the separation pay that they would have received had they been discharged for any other honorable reason. Federal law entitles service members to separation pay if they have been involuntarily and honorably discharged from the military after completing at least six years of service in order to help ease their transition to civilian life.

The settlement covers service members who were discharged on or after November 10, 2004, which is as far back as the settlement could extend under the applicable statute of limitations.

It’s one thing to repeal DADT. It’s quite another to go back and compensate those who were wronged by the discriminatory law. The lawsuit’s lead plaintiff was former Air Force Staff Sgt Richard Collins, a nine year veteran who was dismissed under DADT after a co-worker saw him exchanging a kiss with his boyfriend — while off base. It doesn’t completely fix the problem — Collins’s career is still over — but it is nevertheless very good news.

Comments

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F Young
January 7th, 2013 | LINK

Wow! This is a big deal alright! I never expected it.

I am not well informed on this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the first time any country has compensated LGBT soldiers who were discharged in conformity with the then official policy (as opposed to being improperly discharged after the policy was changed).

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