Air Force Major Margaret Witt Settles ‘DADT’ Case with Pentagon

Seven years after being suspended under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, Air Force Major Margaret Witt has settled her case with the Pentagon, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports:

Witt Per the agreement, Witt will retire with full benefits and her discharge will be removed from her record. The settlement ends a legal fight that began Witt’s suspension in 2004 and continued after her discharge in 2006.

During a tearful announcement at the Seattle office of the American Civil Liberties Union, Witt thanked her family, parents and fellow service members who stood by her during a trial last year that ended with a federal judge ruling that Witt’s dismissal served no military benefit.

Last November, the Department of Justice appealed a September ruling ordering the Air Force to reinstate Witt, a decorated flight.

Witt said she would be retiring to focus on her family and other things.

Said Witt: "I am proud to have played a role in bringing about the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ I am so pleased that the tens of thousands of lesbians and gays who have served their country honorably will be able to serve openly…For the past seven years, I have been fighting for my rights and the rights of other lesbians and gays in the military. I wish I could have spent that time serving with my peers. Now, with the lawsuit completed, I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life."

Comments

  1. Joe in CT says

    Congratulations to Major Witt and to the legal team that supported her in this fight. This is a moral victory for every gay and lesbian armed services member who now serves or will serve our country. Cheers!

  2. says

    Just as a reminder of the importance of Witt’s case, I’ll note that it was her case in which the Ninth Circuit declared that “heightened scrutiny” should be applied to sexual orientation. The ruling in the Log Cabin Republicans’ DADT case relied on this finding. Not to shortchange the work that LCR did, but they got pretty lucky that their case took forever (the original judge, I believe, was injured in an escalator accident, delaying the case by years) and the appeals court ruling in Witt came down first. It still could have gone the same way, but Witt’s a very important victory, even if the immediate effects weren’t as noticeable.

  3. Pete n SFO says

    We all owe a measure of support & gratitude to all of our supporters that have put their careers in jeopardy & in many cases, their lives on hold, to help secure this victory.

    Congrats to all.

Leave A Reply