“It’s disgusting that the Trump Administration is sending some men and women in uniform home for the holidays without jobs ..."
The Trump administration is having to answer for their actions after they discharged two male Air Force personnel for their HIV-statuses.
The news broke in an article in Wednesday's edition Post which said, "two U.S. airmen filed suit on Wednesday against Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, arguing that the Pentagon’s decision last month to discharge them from the military owing to their HIV status violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause and federal law. They have asked the court to strike down the decision.”
It didn't take long for Lambda Legal, and OutServe-SLDN to get involved and along with law firm Winston & Strawn, they filed the Roe and Voe v. Mattis lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, according to Towleroad.
“It’s disgusting that the Trump Administration is sending some men and women in uniform home for the holidays without jobs simply because of their HIV status,” said Scott Schoettes of Lambda Legal. “These decisions should be based on science, not stigma. Lambda Legal is suing to stop these separations and will keep fighting until President Trump understands that there’s not a job in the world a person living with HIV cannot safely perform, including the job of soldier.”
Lambda Legal says their lawsuit, “challenges the Pentagon’s discriminatory deployment policies, which prevent service members living with HIV from deploying outside the United States without a waiver. For years, these policies have restricted the opportunities of service members with HIV. Now these same deployment restrictions are being used to justify separating service members solely based on HIV status. The ‘Deploy or Get Out’ policy, unveiled by the Trump administration in February 2018, directs the Pentagon to identify service members who cannot be deployed to military posts outside of the United States for more than 12 consecutive months and to separate them from military service. Since current U.S. military policy identifies service members living with HIV as non-deployable, they face immediate discharge under this Trump policy.”
Peter Perkowski OutServe-SLDN's Legal & Policy Director said firing the men is discriminatory.
"Anyone willing to put their life on the line to defend our country deserves respect, not discrimination," said Perkowski. "These Airmen are acknowledged leaders and good at their jobs. They have served honorably for many years. They have the support of their commanders and medical personnel, who state that having HIV will not affect their ability to do their jobs. There is simply no justification for the Administration’s actions and decisions."