Just a quick one on new developments in American law – a judgment handed down this week has ruled that a lesbian nurse discharged from the American Air Force must be reinstated to her post. Margaret Witt was discharged from the air force in 2006, when the husband of a woman with whom she was having an affair outed her to her superiors. However, in a landmark ruling, Judge Ronald B. Leighton held that:
‘The application of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to Major Margaret Witt does not significantly further the government’s interest in promoting military readiness, unit morale and cohesion. Her discharge from the Air Force Reserves violated her substantive due process rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. She should be restored to her position as a Flight Nurse with the 446th AES as soon as is practicable….’
The DADT policy was introduced under the Clinton administration, way back in 1993. Previously, LGBT people were barred from serving in the armed forces in any capacity – the DADT policy allowed for LGBT people to serve as long as no mention was made of their sexual orientation, and as long as no evidence or ‘credible information’ of gay behaviour (whatever the hell that is) caught the attention of anyone in the force. It’s pretty clear that this policy is utterly outdated, not to mention downright homophobic, so it’s exciting and encouraging that there are major pushes at the moment to repeal these laws.
Bonus footage from the Rachel Maddow Show: