U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Photo credit: U.S. Courts/GSA)

LGBTQ Veterans Sue Pentagon for Failing to Correct Discrimination After DADT Repeal

A lawsuit filed on Tuesday by a group of LGBTQ veterans seeks to address the U.S. Department of Defense’s failure to grant honorable discharges to service members who were fired before the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2011.

The five plaintiffs, all of whom were kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation, also want the agency to remedy other manifestations of this “ongoing discrimination,” including biased language in the discharge papers of LGBTQ veterans.

Their class action complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, notes that the federal government has made significant overtures to recognize and condemn “the decades of discriminatory policies it enforced against LGBTQ+ veterans.”

However, the lawsuit argues, the plaintiffs — along with “thousands of others who were involuntarily discharged under anti-LGBTQ+ policies — continue to combat the effects of this discrimination.”

Discharge papers, known as DD-214s, are required to access veterans’ benefits and apply for jobs, loans, and apartments.

A Department of Defense spokesperson said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

News of the lawsuit was first reported on television Tuesday by CBS News, which has investigated the Pentagon’s failure to amend the service records of veterans who were dishonorably discharged because of their sexual orientation.

CBS found that “more than 29,000 individuals kicked out because of their sexuality were denied honorable discharges.”

Story courtesy of the Washington Blade via the National LGBTQ Media Association. The National LGBTQ Media Association represents 13 legacy publications in major markets across the country with a collective readership of more than 400K in print and more than 1 million + online. Learn more here: https://nationallgbtmediaassociation.com/