US military must face lawsuit over discharge of LGBTQ veterans

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06/21/2024

A federal magistrate judge in San Francisco has refused to dismiss a lawsuit claiming the U.S. military violated the constitutional rights of more than 35,000 LGBTQ veterans by failing to grant them honorable discharges after they were barred from serving because of their sexual orientation. U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero on Thursday rejected claims by the U.S. Department of Defense, that the proposed class action could not move forward because the five veterans who filed it last year had not first requested changes to their discharge paperwork through a process established by the agency. Spero said the plaintiffs could pursue claims that forcing LGBTQ veterans to engage in the “burdensome and even traumatic” process of seeking to change their discharge status violates their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.

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