Lesbian seeking return to Air Force testifies

Published September 20, 2010

TACOMA, Wash. – A decorated Air Force Reserve flight nurse discharged for being gay says it hurts her not to be able to care for wounded soldiers.

Former Maj. Margaret Witt is suing the Air Force in hopes of being reinstated.

She took the witness stand Monday and testified that she's highly trained and feels incomplete because she can't put those skills to use while the country is at war.

Witt's case has already prompted one important ruling in which an appeals court panel held that the military can't dismiss someone for being gay unless it shows the firing was necessary to further military goals.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton is now weighing whether Witt's firing met that standard.

Lawyers for the Air Force say the firing was justified.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A decorated Air Force flight nurse discharged for being gay has taken the witness stand in federal court in Tacoma.

Former Maj. Margaret Witt is suing the Air Force in hopes of being reinstated. She began her testimony Monday discussing her family's military history and spoke of how she decided to join the Air Force.

Witt's case has already prompted one landmark ruling in which an appeals court panel held the military can't dismiss someone for being gay unless it shows the firing was necessary to further military goals.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton is now weighing whether Witt's firing met that standard.

Lawyers for the Air Force say the firing was justified.

Written by GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer

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