The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced yesterday that they have reached a settlement with the federal government, which entitles service members dismissed due to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) to full severance pay.
The ACLU originally filed the lawsuit on behalf of 181 former service members dismissed under DADT, who were paid only 50% of the normal “separation pay” awarded to military personnel upon leaving the service. Under the settlement, anyone forced out under DADT since November 10, 2004, will be entitled to collect the unpaid portion of their separation benefit. The Defense Department estimates over 3300 former service members will be entitled to recover back pay under this agreement.
Joshua Block, an attorney representing the ACLU, said of the settlement, “It makes no sense to continue to penalize service members who were discharged under a discriminatory statute that has already been repealed. 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.”
President Obama officially ended DADT in September, 2010.
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