Judge Rules in Favor of Air Force Major Margaret Witt in Lawsuit, Maj. Witt and ACLU of Washington State Deliver Second Major DADT Legal Victory
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, proudly hailed today's decision in the lawsuit brought by Air Force Major Margaret Witt and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington State challenging Major Witt's discharge from the Air Force under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
"Yet another judge has taken yet another righteous, historic, and courageous stand against a discriminatory and unconstitutional law," said Alexander Nicholson, founder and Executive Director of Servicemembers United. "Major Witt's case is a clear-cut one in which her discharge itself actually harmed unit cohesion, morale, and combat readiness."
This legal victory against the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law is the second this month, with a judge in Riverside, California previously declaring the entire "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law unconstitutional in a facial challenge to the law brought by the Log Cabin Republicans. Major Witt's victory will apply only to her own discharge, but the precedent set with this decision and the previous appellate court ruling in this case on the standard to be used in deciding on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" discharges all contribute to a significant shift in how courts appear to be viewing and treating the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.
For more information about Servicemembers United and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," please visit www.ServicemembersUnited.org .
Human Rights Campaign Statement on Reinstatement of Major Witt
WASHINGTON — HRC President Joe Solmonese released the following statement today in reaction to the news a federal district court judge issued a decision reinstating Major Margaret Witt, who was discharged from the United States Air Force under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":
"By reinstating Major Witt, a decorated Air Force nurse discharged under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' another federal court has demonstrated once again that this discriminatory law does not contribute to our nation's security or defense," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Had Major Witt been discharged in any other circuit in the country, she would not had her day in court. It is time for Congress and the Administration to recognize that his failed law should be removed from the books once and for all."
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.