Troops discharged under 'don't ask, don't tell' gain full severance pay

Laura Gangi Pond/Shutterstock.com

Gay and lesbian service members discharged from the military on or after Nov. 10, 2004, under the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy will be entitled to full severance pay, according to the settlement from a court case.

The settlement ends a class action lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of service members discharged under DADT. Military members who were involuntarily and honorably discharged under DADT after six years of service were only entitled to half of their severance pay. DADT officially came to an end in September 2011, but the pay policy was separate.

ACLU staff attorney Joshua Block told Buzzfeed that it made no sense to keep punishing military personnel for an outdated policy. “The amount of the pay owed to these veterans is small by military standards, but is hugely significant in acknowledging their service to their country," he told Buzzfeed in a statement.  

According to Buzzfeed, the settlement would impact 181 honorably discharged veterans affected by the severance pay cut.  

The lawsuit began in 2010 after Richard Collins, a former Air Force staff sergeant, filed a class action lawsuit challenging the government’s policy. Collins was honorably discharged in March 2006 after being seen kissing his civilian boyfriend at a traffic light 10 miles from his base. Collins said that the settlement “means a lot to him and others forced out of the military” by DADT, according to the Associated Press.

(Image via Laura Gangi Pond/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.