Air Force Boots Gay Pilot Over DADT

Policy still in play, as evidenced by the April 29 discharge
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2011 7:14 AM CDT
United States Marines attend a training session to familiarize them with the military's new position regarding gay and lesbian service members, April 28, 2011 at Camp Pendleton, Calif.   (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

(Newser) – President Obama signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act in December, but it’s not entirely safe for servicemen and women to come out of the closet just yet. The Air Force discharged an Airman under the policy as recently as April 29, the Metro Weekly reports. That’s because the law won’t technically be off the books until 60 days after President Obama, the secretary of defense, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff certify that repeal won’t affect military effectiveness.

The Air Force secretary himself signed off on the discharge, as required under the Pentagon’s October policy change; previously, a one-star general could OK the discharge. This is the first discharge since that change. “The Airman in the case asked to be separated expeditiously,” an Air Force spokesman said. The executive director of the Servicemembers Union speculated that the airman may have used the policy to force a discharge. “The Defense Department has made it abundantly clear that it is now virtually impossible to discharge someone who doesn’t want to be discharged.”

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