Witt Says She’s Ready To Return To Air Force, ACLU Hopes More Soldiers Will Now Challenge Discharges

Air Force Major Margaret Witt — a lesbian discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’ Tell who recently won a court battle to reinstate herself in the service — told MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer that she was “ready” to return back to her job as a nurse in the Air Force and predicted that her unit would welcome her with open arms:

WITT: I’ve always had a career in the private sector as well, but no, I never once thought about giving up this fight. There has been over 13,000 people that have been discharged because of this and if I have the opportunity — which thankfully I do, there is no way that I would give up the fight. […]

The people in my unit has been behind me 100 percent. You know, I think the most recent statistics are something like 65,000 [gay or lesbian] people are serving every day. All we want to do is our job, so all I want to do is my job. And I think they’ll welcome me back for that.

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Sarah Dunne of the ACLU — the organization which helped mount Witt’s court battle — stressed that Witt’s case established an important precedent in the ninth circuit, requiring the federal government to prove the discharged soldier undermined military effectiveness. “If [servicemembers discharged in the 9th circuit choose], they’ll have an opportunity to go to court and show that their sexual orientation had no effect, no negative consequence on their unit or the military’s ability to do their mission or do their job.” “We hope actually that other servicemembers around the country who are facing discharge under Don’t Ask, Don’t tell will seek to challenge their dismissal,” she added.