Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Court Rules Case Challenging Defense Dept. HIV Discrimination Can Proceed
2018-09-14

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


( Alexandria, VA September 14, 2018 ) — Today, a Virginia federal court ruled a case filed by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, along with pro bono counsel from Winston & Strawn LLP, challenging the military's discriminatory policies governing the enlistment, deployment, and promotion of service members living with HIV will continue by denying the government's motion to dismiss. The plaintiffs' motion to halt implementation of a new Department of Defense policy that likely would have resulted in the discharge of service members living with HIV was also denied because the Pentagon modified the policy after the plaintiffs file the motion.

"All service members with HIV want is for the Pentagon to let us do the jobs we signed on to do," said plaintiff Sgt. Nick Harrison. "These patriots love this country, volunteered to be soldiers, and look forward to the day that they can serve to the full extent of their abilities, and to not be impeded by misperceptions about HIV."

These service members are being denied significant career advancement opportunities and even threatened with discharge due to the Defense Department's long-standing discriminatory policies. Left unaddressed, hundreds of service members who are otherwise fit for duty, including plaintiff Sgt. Nick Harrison, will be discharged from the military, suffering irrevocable harm to their careers and losing critical health care and other benefits.

"We are pleased the court recognizes the importance of allowing this case to move forward, and of ensuring that outdated and irrational policies regarding people living with HIV are not allowed to stand," said Scott Schoettes, Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal. "While we develop the record the Court needs in order to rule on the constitutionality of the Defense Department's HIV-related personnel policies, we will continue to be vigilant to ensure that service members are not being discharged solely because they are living with HIV under the Trump administration's new version of its "Deploy or Get Out!"

Under long-standing DoD policies, those who are serving stateside after an HIV diagnosis are denied important career advancement opportunities and are not allowed to commission as an officer. Sgt. Harrison was denied a position in the Judge Advocate General ( JAG ) Corps because his HIV prevents him from commissioning as an officer. Currently, service members who are diagnosed with HIV while in the military, like Harrison, are classified as non-deployable without regard to their fitness, while people who have already been diagnosed with HIV are not allowed to enlist or commission as officers at all. The revised version will create a new category of deployment-limited personnel that the military will not discharge under the new policy, and the government's lawyers have indicated that people living with HIV are likely to be reclassified into this category.

OutServe-SLDN is also an organizational plaintiff in this case to advance the interests of its members who are living with HIV. In a companion lawsuit entitled Doe v. Mattis, Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN are representing an anonymous service member living with HIV who the Air Force refused to commission as an officer after he graduated from the Air Force Academy, despite recommendations from medical personnel.

"Since we first filed this case, we have heard from many service members worried about how Trump's Defense Department will handle people living with HIV, so we are very pleased the Court denied the government's motion to dismiss.," said Peter Perkowski, Legal Director of OutServe-SLDN. "The judge had some very pointed questions for the government about why it made sense for the military to invest as much as it had in Sergeant Harrison and then deny him this position as a JAG officer simply because he is living with HIV. We look forward to proving that decision was not only nonsensical, but unconstitutional."

Read a copy of the Motion for Preliminary Injunction at www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/harrison_va_20180719_complete-motion-for-preliminary-injunction. Read more about the Harrison v. Mattis case here: www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/harrison-v-mattis .


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Reports: Teen to testify against Aurora church employee 2019-08-20 - A minor alleging that an Aurora area church employee solicited nude photos from them via Snap Chat and text messages will be allowed ...


Gay News

SAGE endorses aid-in-dying laws 2019-08-20 - Patient-rights organization Compassion & Choices issued a press release praising SAGE, dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, for endorsing medical aid-in-dying ...


Gay News

Dorothy Brown not running for re-election 2019-08-14 - Longtime Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown has announced that she will not be running for re-election next year, The Chicago Tribune ...


Gay News

Proposed rule change would reduce ACA nondiscrimination protections 2019-08-14 - ( Washington, D.C., August 14, 2019 ) — Yesterday, Lambda Legal submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services objecting ...


Gay News

NCAVP Reports on Anti-LGBTQ Violence During Pride Season 2019-08-14 - August 14, New York, NY- A special report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs ( NCAVP ), Pride and Pain: A Snapshot ...


Gay News

WORLD Beijing couple, Dutch man attacked, Ecuador murder 2019-08-13 - A same-sex couple in Beijing have become the first in the city to complete the process of being named as each other's legal ...


Gay News

Women & Children First to host Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor 2019-08-13 - Women & Children First is honored to present U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for a moderated conversation and audience Q&A followed by ...


Gay News

Gay Chicago resident alleges discrimination by city employee 2019-08-11 - During the morning hours of April 25, Andersonville resident Leo Meere allegedly heard anti-LGBTQ comments from a Chicago Department of Water Management ( ...


Gay News

Trans ex-student prevails in restroom case 2019-08-11 - In Virginia, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled Aug. 9 that a school board's transgender bathroom ban discriminated against former student Gavin ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzer signs pro-LGBTQ measures 2019-08-10 - On Aug. 9, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a number of measures—including at least three that are seen as specifically benefiting LGBTQ individuals. ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.