You may have seen the exciting news yesterday that the ACLU and the Department of Defense reached a settlement in the case of Collins v. United States, a class-action suit for military separation pay. The suit challenged the Defense Department’s policy of only paying half the separation pay that service members’ separated for homosexual conduct would have otherwise received. The settlement announced yesterday covers:
“All United States service members who at any time from November 10, 2004 through the present were involuntarily separated from the military and were, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 1174, entitled to full separation pay, but were deemed to be not fully qualified for retention and denied reenlistment or continuation because of homosexuality and therefore had their separation pay reduced by one-half.”
A number of people have asked if they fall into this group. Based on the settlement agreement, it appears that in order to qualify service members:
- Must have been discharged on or after November 10, 2004;
- Must have been discharged solely for homosexuality or homosexual conduct; and
- Must have been eligible for and received half separation pay when they were discharged.
If a service member falls into this class, the settlement agreement specifies that the Department of Defense must attempt to notify the service member at their last known address to inform them that they can opt-in to the class. A sample notification letter is included in the settlement agreement.
If you have any questions about whether you qualify for this class or should qualify for this class, please contact the ACLU.
Read the ACLU’s statement on the settlement here: http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/former-gay-and-lesbian-service-members-subject-discriminatory-policy-receive-full
Read the settlement agreement here: http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/collins-v-united-states-settlement-agreement
01-08-13 By David McKean, OutServe-SLDN Legal Director |