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Judge orders lesbian reinstated to Air Force

September 24, 2010
  • In this June 30, 2006 file photo, U.S. Air Force Reservist Maj. Margaret Witt is seen after a hearing of a case challenging her dismissal from the Air Force for being a lesbian in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Wash. Witt is suing the Air Force in federal court in Tacoma, seeking reinstatement following her "don't ask-don't tell" dismissal. Witt was discharged in 2007 after serving for 19 years -- less than a year short of receiving her pension. A federal judge says the Air Force violated the constitutional rights of Witt when it discharged her for being gay, and ordered that she be given her job back as soon as possible.
Associated Press,

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- A federal judge says the Air Force violated the constitutional rights of a highly decorated flight nurse when it discharged her for being gay, and ordered that she be given her job back as soon as possible.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton issued his highly anticipated ruling Friday in the case of former Maj. Margaret Witt. She was discharged under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays serving in the military and sued to get her job back.

In 2008, a federal appeals court panel ruled in her case that the military can't discharge people for being gay unless it proves their firing furthered military goals.

After a six-day trial, the judge said testimony proved Witt was an outstanding nurse and her reinstatement would do nothing to hurt unit morale.

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