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ACLU Sues U.S. Military Over Lesser Discharge Pay for Gays

The ACLU has filed a class action suit against the Department of Defense over a policy which apparently halves separation pay for soldiers discharged from the military for homosexuality.

The ACLU writes: Collins

The lead plaintiff in the case is Richard Collins, a decorated former staff-sergeant in the U.S. Air Force who served for nine years until he was discharged from service under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Mr. Collins's superiors learned that he is gay when two civilian co-workers observed him exchange a kiss with his civilian boyfriend. Mr. Collins received an honorable discharge from the Air Force but discovered after the discharge had been completed that his separation pay had been cut in half on the grounds of "homosexuality."

The ACLU and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network first contacted the Defense Department in November 2009 to request that the separation-pay policy be revised to eliminate the discrimination against gay and lesbian service members, but the department has refused to do so. Because of its refusal to change this discriminatory policy, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Mexico have filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

According to the ACLU, "The separation-pay policy is not part of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the Department can change it immediately without waiting for congressional approval."

Who can participate in the class action?

"All United States service members who at any time from November 10, 2004 through the present were involuntarily separated from the military and were, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 1174, entitled to full separation pay, but were deemed to be not fully qualified for retention and denied reenlistment or continuation because of homosexuality and therefore had their separation pay reduced by one-half."

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  1. This makes me so angry I could spit.

    Posted by: Aaron A. | Nov 11, 2010 2:05:10 PM

  2. "The separation-pay policy is not part of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the Department can change it immediately without waiting for congressional approval."

    Yeah, kind of like President Obama could have stopped DADT discharges on day one of his presidency with a stop-loss order while he was working on repeal. Just like he didn't do that, he won't end this discriminatory practice either.

    Posted by: Brad | Nov 11, 2010 2:09:44 PM

  3. lol, r u a camel aaron?
    But yes, this is bullshit.

    Posted by: B | Nov 11, 2010 3:15:54 PM

  4. Great. Another incomprehensible outrage. What the effing eff.
    The legal point here seems so open-and-shut it'll be interesting to see how this can possibly be resolved any way but in the complainant's favor.

    Posted by: coolbearinmd | Nov 11, 2010 7:29:39 PM

  5. More punitive measures from utter bigots. Those who simply 'decided' that the expelled servicemembers should get half pay should be fired and the servicemembers who suffered this ADDED indignity should at VERY least get the extra money owed to them, back paid to EVERYONE who was slighted, and in an ideal world, get that back pay as well as reenlistment under a DADT repeal!

    Posted by: CKNJ | Nov 12, 2010 11:11:13 AM

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