Gay Officer Dismissed Under DADT Will Rejoin Air Force

US appeals ruling, but does not ask for stay
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2010 10:16 AM CST
Margaret Witt talks to reporters at the federal courthouse in Tacoma, Wash., Friday, Sept. 24, 2010.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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(Newser) – An openly gay Air Force officer who was dismissed in 2006 under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will rejoin the military, the Washington Post reports. A federal judge ordered Maj. Margaret Witt’s reinstatement in September; the Obama administration appealed that decision as expected, but did not ask for it to be stayed. "I am thrilled to be able to serve in the Air Force again," she said in a joint statement with the ACLU. "The men and women in the unit are like family members to me, and I've been waiting a long time to rejoin them."

Air Force officials say the government may ask for a stay later, but it may be irrelevant: Congress is scheduled to consider repealing DADT after the Pentagon releases a report Tuesday on how to end it. Robert Gibbs says the appeal “in no way diminishes the president's—and his administration's—firm commitment to achieving a legislative repeal of DADT this year." President Obama has said he wants Congress to end the ban on gay service members, rather than the courts.

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