For those of you who haven’t heard. There is reason to celebrate:
In a landmark settlement, the Pentagon has agreed to give full back pay to U.S. service members who were discharged due to their sexual orientation under the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The payouts will be granted to service members dismissed from the military under the now-repealed policy on or after November 2004.
Service members who were involuntarily and honorably discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) found their separation pay automatically cut in half. However, they will soon receive the rest of the pay they have earned for their military service.
The ACLU of New Mexico sued the Pentagon on behalf of 181 service members who were dismissed under the policy to recover their full pay. Each solider, sailor, airman and Marine in the case will receive, on average, a payout of $13,000, the ACLU said.
The Defense Department will pay a total of $2.4 million to the plaintiffs.
This move, on the part of the Department of Defense, helps to bring those discriminated against one step closer to a sense of equal respect for their equally admirable military service. Read more here.