Staff Sergeant Anthony Loverde, discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 2008 under the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) law, will soon return to active duty. Loverde will take the oath in Sacramento next month and be assigned to the 19th Operations Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas. His reinstatement will be the second since the repeal of DADT in September 2011.
Loverde’s reinstatement is the result of a resolution on his behalf in the historic case (Almy v. U.S.) that was filed in 2010 and challenged the constitutionality of his and two other plaintiffs’ discharges under DADT and sought their reinstatement to active duty.
"I am honored and humbled to return to the service of my country and the job I love. I am grateful to my legal team and all of those in the armed forces who helped to facilitate this reinstatement. I am eager to take the oath and get to work." – Staff Sergeant Anthony Loverde
The victory is unique because it is a reinstatement, not just a reentry, and means that Sergeant Loverde will return to his previous rand and be able to continue his military career as if it had never been interrupted. The decision to reinstate Loverde was not the outcome of a court ruling but an agreement reached between the parties so that his case would not have to proceed to trial. Since there was no court ruling, a precedent has not been set for other service member in similar situations.
But it’s good news nonetheless.
Loverde was represented by Servicemembers’ Legal Defense Network (SLDN), an organization also involved in a lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of gay service members currently on active duty. That suit, which was filed in a Massachusetts federal court, is currently being delayed while SLDN awaits the government’s response to this case.
All career service members should have access to all the benefits afforded to them, regardless of whom they love. Don't you agree?
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