Tags: US | Gays | In | Military

Gay Ex-Officer to Testify Against Military's Ban

Thursday, 15 Jul 2010 07:23 AM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

If the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy were lifted today, Mike Almy would not think twice about returning to the Air Force.

The former major who was fired in 2006 for being gay will testify Thursday in federal court in Riverside during a non-jury trial that is presenting the biggest constitutional test in recent years to the military's policy banning openly gay service members.

Almy is one of two former service members scheduled to testify this week on behalf of the lawsuit filed by the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights organization challenging the policy's constitutionality. Lawyers for the group are seeking a federal injunction to immediately halt the policy banning openly gay service members.

The case has put the Obama administration in the awkward position of defending a policy the president is pushing Congress to repeal.

More than 13,500 service members have been fired under the law since 1994.

Almy was dismissed after a routine computer search turned up personal e-mails he wrote while deployed in Iraq. After the e-mails were given to his commander, he was handed discharge papers marked "homosexual admission" as the reason

"Despite this treatment, my greatest desire is still to return to active duty as an officer and leader in the United States Air Force, protecting the freedoms of a nation that I love; freedoms that I myself was not allowed to enjoy while serving in the military," Almy wrote in an April 26, 2010 letter to President Obama asking him to overturn the law.

Jenny L. Kopfstein, a decorated Navy officer from San Diego who was discharged in 2002 after telling her commanding officer she was gay, will testify Friday.

Log Cabin Republican members have spoken on behalf of an active gay serviceman whom lawyers said decided not to risk being discharged for appearing in court, lawyers say. His name will not be released.

Government attorneys say the issue should be decided by Congress and not in a federal courtroom in Southern California.

In deciding to hear the challenge, U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips said the "possibility that action by the legislative and executive branches will moot this case is sufficiently remote."

The plaintiff's attorney, Dan Woods argued the policy violates the rights of gay military members to free speech, due process and open association.

"Don't ask, don't tell" prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but requires discharge of those who acknowledge being gay or are discovered to be engaging in homosexual activity, even in the privacy of their own homes off base.

The case is unique in that it is not based on an individual's complaint but rather is a broad, sweeping attack on the policy.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

US Crude Plunges 10% in Biggest One-Day Drop Since 2009

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 21:41 PM

U.S. crude tumbled 10 percent in its biggest one-day drop in more than five years on Friday, and benchmark Brent broke b . . .

National Protests Over Ferguson Briefly Close Malls, Shut Down Trains

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 21:20 PM

Demonstrators temporarily shut down two large malls in suburban St. Louis on one of the busiest shopping days of the yea . . .

Next Partisan 'War' in New Congress Will Be Over Science

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 19:58 PM

After midterm battles, an immigration standoff and amid a switch of power in Congress, the next political fight in Washi . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved