UPDATE: Trial Opens For Spokane Lesbian Seeking Return To Military
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - An attorney for a Spokane lesbian flight nurse discharged from the Air Force Reserve says her sexual orientation never caused problems in her unit.
Former Maj. Margaret 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 appeals court ruled in Witt's case that the military may not discharge service members for being gay unless it proves that the firing furthers military readiness. The trial is expected
to determine whether Witt's firing met that standard.
In an opening statement Monday, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington lawyer Sarah Dunne said Witt was highly respected, and her dismissal not her orientation caused morale problems in
Justice Department attorney Peter Phipps responded that Witt's firing did not violate her rights.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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