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Fri., Sept. 24, 2010, 3:43 p.m.

Judge reinstates Witt

Margaret Witt, center, and her partner, Laurie McChesney, right, walk with Sher Kung, left, an attorney with the ACLU, near the federal courthouse in Tacoma, on Monday, Sept. 20, 2010.  (Ted Warren / Associated Press)
Margaret Witt, center, and her partner, Laurie McChesney, right, walk with Sher Kung, left, an attorney with the ACLU, near the federal courthouse in Tacoma, on Monday, Sept. 20, 2010. (Ted Warren / Associated Press)

Margaret Witt, center, and her partner, Laurie McChesney, right, walk with Sher Kung, left, an attorney with the ACLU, near the federal courthouse in Tacoma, on Monday, Sept. 20, 2010.

TACOMA — Spokane resident Margaret Witt may be the best evidence that “Don’t Ask Don’t tell doesn’t work, a federal judge said today. U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton, in a sometimes emotional ruling from the bench, said Witt can be reinstated in the Air Force Reserves despite the military’s ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military.

Leighton ruled that Witt’s rights were violated and that evidence presented during a six day trial showed her unit, the 446th Air Evacuation Squadron did not suffer any loss of cohesion or morale from her service or other known or suspected homosexuals among its ranks. On the contrary, morale dropped after she was suspended and later discharged for being a lesbian.

That overrides the general reasons set down by Congress and adopted by the military to keep openly gay members from serving, he said. Jim Camden, SR More here.

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Cindy Hval
Cindy Hval is a freelance columnist for the Voices neighborhood sections. Her Front Porch column appears twice a month in the Thursday Voice.