Gay Officer Sues to Block DADT Discharge

Air Force officer seeks to have 'don't ask' overturned
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2010 7:06 AM CDT
Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, a pilot with the U.S. Air Force 389th Fighter Squadron, pauses as he answers a question during an interview with the Associated Press.   (AP Photo/Charlie Litchfield)
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(Newser) – Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach would rather be fighting the enemy, but he's taking on the military instead over its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The decorated Air Force fighter pilot is suing to prevent his imminent discharge under the policy. He told Idaho law enforcement officials he had consensual sex with a man while being questioned over 2008 rape allegations that were later dismissed; unbeknownst to him, Air Force officials were observing the interview, and opened an investigation, the New York Times reports.

The colonel's lawyers say his case shows that the law harms the military readiness it is meant to protect, noting that his performance reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, calling him a proven leader who raises morale in his unit. They also argue that new regulations stipulating that "don't ask" investigations be based on info from credible sources were not met, saying that because his accuser's case was dismissed, the accuser is not credible. If Fehrenbach is unable to block the discharge, he would be one of the highest-ranking service members booted from the military under the policy.

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