Michael Almy, Anthony Loverde, and Jason Knight.
Who are they, you ask? Well, all three are decorated veterans from the US military, and all three have been discharged under DADT. And now, all three joined with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network [SLDN] to challenge the constitutionality of the military policy that bans openly gay and lesbian soldiers from serving.
And if you are still one of those neanderthals that believes DADT is right and fair and just, and don’t believe that DADT harms the military and threatens our national security, then listen up.
Michael Almy was a 13-year veteran who saw four deployments to the Middle East, and has received numerous awards and honors during his Air Force service. Still, he was discharged for being gay.
He served; he fought; he was discharged.
Anthony Loverde also served in the Air Force, for seven years, as a trained C-130 Loadmaster and Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory Technician. In 2008, he was discharged for being gay. These days Loverde works for a defense contractor doing the same job he did for the military, even working alongside his old coworkers. He’s still doing the same job, but because it’s for a business, and not the military, he has job security, regardless of his sexual orientation.
Same job, different boss.
Jason Knight five years in the US Navy as a trained Cryptological Technician Interpretive Linguist, the type of position that many would probably consider critical for the success of U.S. operations abroad. But Jason Knight was discharged in 2005 for being gay. But, and this is were it gets even more strange. After his discharge, for being gay, he was called up again in 2006, and then discharged for still being gay in 2007.
He was in, he was out, he was in, he was out.
So, Michael Almy, Anthony Loverde, and Jason Knight, along with SLDN and the law firm Morrison & Foerster, are challenging the constitutionality of DADT in a California federal court. And if the US Senate fails to repeal DADT before the body breaks for the holidays and a new Congress takes over, they’ll leave the fate of DADT up to the courts and an aggressive litigation strategy by repeal advocates.
Aubrey Sarvis, the director of SLDN and himself an Army veteran: “This filing is a shot across the bow as we prepare to pursue and sustain an aggressive far reaching litigation strategy if the Senate fails to act this month to repeal the law. This dispute can be resolved by Congress or by the courts. With this filing we put Congress on notice that a cadre of service members and our national legal team stand ready to litigate strategically around the country. We are also preparing litigation on behalf of young people who would enter the armed forces to serve our country but for this terrible law. Another suit we’re working on involves clients discharged under ‘Don’t Ask’ who want to enter the reserves or a guard unit, and we plan to file such cases early next year if Congress fails to act. Clearly there is an urgent need for the Senate to act on legislation this week.”
It seems everyone wants it done, but no one wants to step up. Obama says he wants it done, but is leaving it to the courts ands the Congress. Many in Congress want it done, but they are saying Obama should issue an executive order. Nearly 75% of Americans want it done, as does the majority of our military personnel.
Get it done.