Major Margaret Witt, a decorated flight nurse, was fired from the Air Force in 2004 after it was discovered that she was in a long-term relationship with a woman. Now, U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton has judged that she should be given her job back and allowed to serve, despite being openly gay. You can read more here.
3 thoughts on “Gay rights – 1, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – 0”
The opinion and some analysis is here:http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/conlaw/2010/09/dont-ask-dont-tell-unconstitutional-as-applied-to-major-margaret-witt.html
It might actually be “gay rights” “2” and DADT 0 this month, given the previous opinion brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/conlaw/2010/09/dont-ask-dont-tell-unconstitutional-california-federal-judge-rules.html
Of course, in the Witt case, it is “lesbian rights,” since “gay” doesn’t necessarily include lesbians, in the same way “men” doesn’t necessarily include women.
And lesbians/women are disproportionately subject to DADT, see statistics here: http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer?pagename=blog_katesBlog
Thanks for these links. I was under the impression that ‘gay’ had the same meaning as ‘queer’, and so meant both gay men and gay women. How do other people use it? Is mine a UK usage? Or am I just wrong?
Monkey: that’s definitely the standard usage of the term (as a general term, that is) in the US and Canada but, like RR, I do have some difficulty with it. It’s kind of like how it’s acceptable for the media to use “beg the question” to mean “raises the question,” and I guess it’s OK, but it frustrates me to no end. =)
In any case, I don’t think you’re really in the wrong: whatever we might prefer, “gay” has become a general designation for “homosexual” or “queer”. The tension with gender-neutrality is interesting, but I don’t know how far we can really go with it at this point.
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