Monday, January 07, 2013

Military Dismissed Under DADT to have Severance Pay Restored!

OK, 18 days ago I said I was done posting to Tully's Page.  But this bit of news was too much for me to stay away.

Last week, I kissed and hugged and clung to my boyfriend/soulmate as I prepared to leave for Coast Guard Auxiliary training for the weekend. It was a poignant moment, as it occurred to me how many hundreds - maybe thousands - of military personnel went through similar goodbyes, for periods of time much longer than mine - and then had to keep their love and their longing hidden rather than risk dismissal.

So, when this news crossed my laptop...I just had to share.


By Shaun Knittel Online News Editor – Gay Military News

Under a legal settlement announced today, military personnel who lost half of their separation pay because they were discharged for under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) will be compensated with the remainder.

The total amount of pay owed to these service members is about $2.4 million, which “is small by military standards, but is hugely significant in acknowledging their service to their country,” said Joshua Block, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project.”

The settlement comes in Collins v. United States, a class action suit brought by the ACLU and its New Mexico affiliate. It is named for lead plaintiff Richard Collins, who was honorably discharged from the Air Force after being observed kissing his boyfriend but saw his separation pay cut because his discharge was for homosexuality.

The original case was brought on behalf of 181 honorably discharged veterans whose separation pay was cut due to DADT, which officially ended in September, 2011. As many as 3,300 could benefit from today’s ruling.

The pay reduction was a Defense Department policy and not part of the DADT law, so it did not change when the law was repealed, ACLU officials noted.

The settlement covers personnel who were discharged on or after November 10, 2004, as far back as it could extend under the applicable statute of limitations.

1 comment:

Will said...

This announcement was a cause of much happiness in our house. The dismissal of so many talented, dedicated Americans proud of their country and enthusiastic in its service was a total disgrace. Not alone that, a large number of those who were cashiered out of the service were Arabic-English translators who were desperately needed. Many commanders stated publicly that vital negotiations were delayed for lack of translators.

Obviously it's your choice, but I hope you don't drop the blog entirely. I think you're an interesting man who has a great of value to say.