When I was asked to leave my unit back in 2004, I would have never dreamed that I could make a difference in my military friends’ lives. Deciding to fight, and having the support to fight for the right to serve all fell into place for me.
I wanted to serve. I wanted to get back to my military family as soon as possible. Later I just wanted it all to make a difference for someone, somewhere.
In 2008, as a result of my lawsuit, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals established what quickly became known as the “Witt Standard." What that meant was that the government would now have to produce specific evidence that individual gay and lesbian service members negatively affected unit cohesion and morale. The act of having to offer this proof exposes and explodes the prejudice that was at the heart of DADT. That’s what occurred in my case and, I believe, it’s exactly what would occur in all future cases where DADT was challenged. I was ordered to be re-instated in 2010 and the “Witt Standard” helped push Congress to repeal DADT altogether.
Last week, the Air Force regained another top performer. SSgt Anthony Loverde was reinstated to the 19th Operations Squadron at Little Rock AFB in Arkansas. How lucky they are! Tony was, and is, living proof that DADT was an absurd law. After he was discharged under DADT, he returned as a military contractor to the same job with the same people he was supposed to have affected so negatively.
SSgt Loverde, I salute you!
About the author: Maj Margaret Witt, USAFR ( Ret.) is a member of SLDN's Military Advisory Council. To read more about her federal court victory, click here.
05-29-12 By Maj Margaret Witt, USAFR ( Ret.) |