Thursday, November 18, 2010

ACLU charges military cutting separation pay of those discharged under "don't ask don' tell"

Chris Johnson has a story (in the Washington Blade, Nov. 17) about a little-known complication of “don’t ask don’t tell” for servicemembers discharged under the policy.

The military normally pays separation “severance” pay for those forced to leave the service honorably with at least six years service. The ACLU recently filed suit challenging the common practice of cutting “severance” in half when discharges occur under “don’t ask don’t tell” or for “homosexual conduct”. The case involves former Air Force Staff Sergeant Richard Collins.

The link is here.

Workers Independent News has another account of the story here. This story was reproduced by the Democratic Underground, involved in controversial litigation with Righthaven (see my main "Bill Boushka" blog today). 

Another similar issue in the past has been recoupment of tuition from soldiers when they had attended college under ROTC scholarships or service academies and are separated for gay issues. That was the subject of the book by Jim Holobaugh, "Torn Allegiances: The Story of a Gay Cadet" (Alyson, 1993) under the “old” ban before 1993.

Also, Ed O'Keefe has a "Federal Eye" story on p A10 of the Nov. 18 Washington Post, "'Don't ask, don't tell' repeal will return to Senate floor, Reid says", link here. The vote (as part of the the Defense Authorization Bill") will not occur until after the Dec. 1 official "reading of the will" and some GOP senators (most notably McCain) say they will try to defer until 2011 for another survey, when the GOP will control the House. The original DADT law was passed on Nov. 30, 1993 as part of a Defense Authorization Law then.

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