Post Reply ACLU Seeks Reinstatement Of Air Force Major Discharged Under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
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Posted 9/15/10 , edited 9/15/10
TACOMA, WA – The landmark case of Major Margaret Witt, a decorated U.S. Air Force flight nurse dismissed under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, goes to trial today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. The ACLU of Washington is representing Maj. Witt in challenging her discharge. The trial is expected to last seven days.

"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 Maj. Witt. "Wounded people never asked me about my sexual orientation. They were just glad to see me there."

In 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Air Force must prove that discharging Maj. Witt was necessary for purposes of military readiness. While the ruling left in place the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, the court found that before discharging a soldier, the military must prove that the individual's conduct hurt morale and unit cohesion. The case was remanded to federal district court for trial under the appellate court's standard of review.

"Maj. Witt has been an exemplary member of the military with a distinguished record of service. To discharge her simply because of her sexual orientation is unfair to her and also is unwise for the military, which needs her skills," said ACLU of Washington Executive Director Kathleen Taylor.

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