Atlanta, GA ( MAR 16, 2016 ) — Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, the highest ranking active officer to challenge the US military's ban on LGBT service members, will be presented the 2016 Leonard Matlovich Medal for Distinguished Service by American Veterans for Equal Rights ( AVER ), the nation's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Veterans Service Organization. The Medal will be presented to Dr. Cammermeyer at AVER's 25th anniversary national convention to be held April 21-24, 2016, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Cammermeyer, a Vietnam Veteran, was discharged from the US Army in 1992 following her disclosure during a 1989 security clearance interview that she is a lesbian. Her discharge was overturned subsequent to a civil suit and Colonel Cammermeyer became one of the first openly serving LGBT military officers until her retirement in 1997. The ban was repealed in 2010.
The Matlovich Medal is the highest honor awarded by AVER and is named for USAF TechSgt Leonard Matlovich who was the first gay service member to purposely out himself to the military to fight the ban on LGBT service members, and became one of the best known LGBT activists in America in the 1970s. Past recipients of the Matlovich Medal include President Barack Obama, Admiral Mike Mullen, and gay activist Dr. Frank Kameny, a World War II veteran and founder of the modern LGBT civil rights movement.
For more information on the 2016 AVER convention please visit the link: aver.us/aver-convention-2016 .