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 2020-04-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Military Experts, Medical Groups, HIV Advocates Oppose Discharge Policy for HIV-Positive Airmen
2019-07-26

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


New York, NY — July 26, 2019 ) — Military leaders, medical associations, public health groups, and HIV advocates joined three friend-of-the court briefs filed yesterday in support of a federal lawsuit challenging the Pentagon's discriminatory policies, which prevent service members living with HIV from deploying to most locations outside the United States. These deployment restrictions recently resulted in decisions to discharge a number of Airmen. The briefs being filed today in Roe and Voe v Shanahan before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit urge the court to uphold a preliminary injunction preventing the Air Force from discharging service members with HIV.ï申ï申"Given the assessment of military experts and the advances in HIV treatment, the Pentagon's policy of refusing to deploy—and now to discharge—HIV-positive servicemembers who honorably serve our country is utterly discriminatory, outdated and unnecessary," said Scott Schoettes, HIV Project Director and Counsel at Lambda Legal. "As the world's largest employer with 2.5 million employees, it is outrageous that the Department of Defense has a harmful and unlawful policy that perpetrates stigma, jeopardizes public health, and dishonors servicemembers."

In the lawsuit, Lambda Legal and the Modern Military Association of America ( OutServe ) represent two active duty airmen, identified anonymously as Roe and Voe, who served their country honorably for years until they were discharged in 2018 for being HIV-positive.

The briefs argue that the Pentagon's categorical exclusion and discharge of HIV-service members is outdated, irrational and discriminatory given the strides in HIV medicine that allow people living with HIV to suppress HIV to undetectable levels, return to health, and lead full lives. The briefs further argue that the Pentagon's policies lacks scientific support and justification, enact real world harms, and undermine broader public health—debunking erroneous claims by the government.

Three amicus briefs were submitted today: One from military leaders led by former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and former Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, submitted by Dentons LLP; another from groups representing over 5,000 physicians, scientists and healthcare professionals, led by the HIV Medicine Association and the Infectious Disease Society of America ( IDSA ) and submitted by Jones Day ; and a third brief from health and HIV advocacy organizations AIDS United, the American Public Health Association, and the National Alliance of State & Territorial and Directors ( NASTAD ), submitted by Kevin Minnick, Brian Breheny along with attorneys at GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders ( GLAD ).

"It is long past time for the U.S. military to integrate the latest medical science regarding HIV into military policies and to stop discriminating against servicemembers with this medical condition," said former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "I urge the Pentagon to update its policies to allow HIV-positive members to serve fully. There is only one qualification required to serve in our military: the ability to do the job. And these individuals can do the job as well as anyone else."

"Health policies should be based on the best available evidence, and military policy should reflect the current reality of treating and preventing HIV—including the scientific facts that a person with durably suppressed HIV will not transmit the virus, that servicemembers have access to high-quality health care, and that the risk of exposure in military settings is vanishingly low," said Dr. Judith Feinberg, chair-elect of the HIV Medicine Association. "HIVMA will continue to urge that no one should be excluded from any opportunity, including military service, on the basis of HIV status."

"As a former Air Force officer, I'm disappointed that the military is reversing course to implement discriminatory policies that will result in the discharge of qualified servicemembers based solely on their HIV status. This newpolicy contradicts President Trump's plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, shirks the military's role in this effort, and denies the military's own history, research, and best practices." William McColl, Vice President for Policy and Advocacy, AIDS United.

"These military experts know that policies on military service should be based on standards and up-to-date science," said Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ) Executive Director Andy Blevins. "There have been tremendous advances in the treatment of HIV that enable troops living with HIV to serve without restriction, but Department of Defense policies remain outdated and unjustified. Simply put, in light of modern science, there is no legitimate reason to deny HIV-positive service members the opportunity to deploy or continue to serve in the military."

This appeal will be heard in the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia ï申on September 18.ï申 The case is set to go to trial in Alexandria, Virginia ï申on September 9 along, with Harrison v. Shanahan, with attorneys from Lambda Legal, the Modern Military Association of America, Greenberg Traurig and Winston & Strawn representing the plaintiffs.

Background:

These lawsuits challenge the Pentagon's discriminatory deployment policies, which prevent service members living with HIV from deploying to most locations outside the United States. For years, these outdated policies have restricted the opportunities of service members living with HIV, including being used to deny a commission as an officer to enlisted member Nick Harrison. Now the Air Force is using these unjustifiable deployment restrictions to discharge Airmen solely based on HIV status.

OutServe-SLDN is also an organizational plaintiff in this case to advance the interests of its members who are living with HIV and serving in the military. Along with Roe and Voe v Shanahan and Harrison v. Shanahan, Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN have brought a third lawsuit, Deese and Doe v. Shanahan, to challenge similar policies that have resulted in the refusal to allow two military academy graduates to commission as officers and begin their military careers.

Read more about the case here: www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/roe-and-voe-v-shanahan .

Read the amicus briefs here: www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/roeandvoe_va_20190726_amicus-brief-aids-united .

www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/roeandvoe_va_20190726_amicus-brief-mabus-fanning .

www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/roeandvoe_va_20190726_amicus-brief-hiv-medicine-association .


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

International AIDS Conference to go digital 2020-03-28 - Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 23rd International AIDS Conference ( AIDS 2020 ), to be held July 6-10, will become the first ...


Gay News

AFC head details coronavirus response 2020-03-25 - AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) is among the Chicago agencies that have mobilized an aggressive response to the coronavirus crisis. AFC ...


Gay News

Stop comparing coronavirus to early HIV/AIDS. Just stop. 2020-03-17 - People ask me if our lives today feel like the early years of HIV/AIDS, and I want to scream. There is no comparison. ...


Gay News

Conference on AIDS changes name to Conference on HIV 2020-02-04 - Feb. 3, 2020 - NMAC announced today that the name of the United States Conference on AIDS will be changed to the United ...


Gay News

Season of Concern has new board president 2020-01-29 - Season of Concern—the Chicagoland theater community's fundraising effort that provides compassionate care to those in the theater community who are experiencing the effects ...


Gay News

WORLD Swiss votes, HIV+ pilot, Indonesian raids, Dutch beauty expert 2020-01-21 - On Feb. 9, Switzerland residents will decide on extending the scope of anti-racism legislation to include discrimination based on sexual orientation, according to ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Presidential candidates, HIV news, Seattle LGBTQ bars, Tom of Finland 2020-01-21 - Presidential candidate Tom Steyer was baffled by his own comments he previously made on protecting the health of LGBTQ asylum seekers when asked ...


Gay News

Federal court upholds injunction preventing discharge of HIV+ airmen 2020-01-10 - ( Richmond, VA, January 10, 2020 ) — Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling ...


Gay News

Mayor, CDPH announce decline in HIV diagnoses 2019-12-23 - On Dec. 23, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health ( CDPH ) announced that new HIV diagnoses in ...


Gay News

AIDS Garden Chicago supporters celebrate Keith Haring sculpture installation 2019-12-20 - AIDS Garden Chicago supporters gathered Dec. 20 at the 2.5 acre lakefront garden site south of Belmont Harbor near the location of the ...


 



Copyright © 2020 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  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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.