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Pentagon HIV Policy Goes To Court

By Charlotte Robinson, September 15, 2020
Lambda Legal & the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) have asked a federal district court to bar the Trump Administration & the Pentagon from discriminating against people living with HIV by denying them the opportunity to enlist, deploy or commission as an officer. In a hearing on two related lawsuits before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on September 14th lawyers argued the Pentagon’s categorical bar to the enlistment, deployment or commissioning of people living with HIV is unconstitutional & asked the court to order the Department of Defense to allow servicemembers living with HIV to deploy & to serve as officers. Scott Schoettes, Counsel & HIV Project Director, Lambda Legal stated, “Today, we asked the court to recognize what the government refuses to acknowledge, that people living with HIV are as capable, safe & healthy to serve in the military as any other person. It is discriminatory & unconstitutional to deprive these servicemembers from serving their country because of outdated science & continuing prejudice. It’s unacceptable that even in the face of tremendous medical advances, the Trump Administration is erecting new barriers to the military service of people living with HIV. These discriminatory actions deny important career opportunities & perpetuate stigma.” In the two lawsuits Roe & Voe v. Esper & Harrison v. Esper Lambda Legal & MMAA joined by pro-bono co-counsel Winston & Strawn LLP represent two Airmen facing discharge & a member of the D.C. Army National Guard being denied a commission just because they are living with HIV.
For More Info: lambdalegal.org 
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