Three openly gay US military veterans are suing to get their old jobs back.

They were discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – the law which prohibits gay troops from being open about their sexual orientation.

This week, they submitted a lawsuit to the US District Court in San Francisco seeking reinstatement and the repeal of the law.

The veterans are former Air Force Staff Sgt Anthony Loverde, former Air Force Maj Michael Almy and former Navy Petty Officer Second Class Jason Knight.

They are being represented by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Aubrey Sarvis, the group’s executive director, said: “This filing is a shot across the bow as we prepare to pursue and sustain an aggressive far reaching litigation strategy if the Senate fails to act this month to repeal the law.

“This dispute can be resolved by Congress or by the courts,” he added.

Last week, the Senate blocked a bill which had a repeal measure attached to it. The bill, on military spending, was passed again by the House this week.

Republican Senator Susan Collins and independent Senator Joe Lieberman have jointly introduce a separate bill to end the ban but there may not be enough time in this session to pass it.