the don

Discharged Gay Soldiers Only Receive Half Their Separation Pay. That’s Crap, Says ACLU’s New Class Action Suit

Even gay soldiers honorably discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell are entitled to separation pay if they serve more than six years, Congress agreed. Then the Defense Department decided these unworthy fags should only receive half the usual amount entitled to discharged peers. Bullshit, says Richard Collins, who’s acting as lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed yesterday by the ACLU. Collins v. United States — a class action suit — seeks to change that.

The separation pay disparity is not mandated under DADT or any other law passed by Congress, asserts the ACLU, which means the Pentagon could reverse its policy with the stroke of a pen. But they aren’t, so the ACLU is going to court to have the rule declared unconstitutional.

Leading things off is Collins, “a decorated former staff-sergeant in the U.S. Air Force who served for nine years until he was discharged from service under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,” the organization writes. “Mr. Collins’s superiors learned that he is gay when two civilian co-workers observed him exchange a kiss with his civilian boyfriend. Mr. Collins received an honorable discharge from the Air Force but discovered after the discharge had been completed that his separation pay had been cut in half on the grounds of ‘homosexuality.'” Collins wants another $12k per year, or the other half of his missing paycheck.

You’re invited to join in the fun if you’re a gay former military personnel discharged under DADT and not receiving your fair share.

And just when the Obama administration thought it had a shot at getting off the DADT hook by having the Supreme Court let it continue enforcing the No Out Gays policy comes yet another chance for the Department of Justice to call gay soldiers less than. And for the White House to say there’s nothing they can do about it without Congress, when that’s a lie.

[ACLU; Read the entire complaint here, PDF]