Gay US Air Force officer sues over dismissal
A gay US Air Force officer who lost his job last year after a false rape allegation forced him to reveal his sexuality has sued to block his dismissal and to overturn the US military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.
As reported by the Seattle Times, Lt. Colonel Victor Fehrenbach – who is still undergoing the process of being discharged – requested that a federal court in Boise, Idaho, invalidate the 1993 policy which bans openly LGBT Americans from serving in the military. Lt. Col Fehrenbach’s claim insists that admission of his sexuality was obtained under “coercive circumstances” and that he spoke against the rape allegations made against him by a Boise man in May 2008.
Lt. Col. Fehrenbach launched his lawsuit after hearing last week that the Air Force Personnel Board had recommended he be discharged. He has been grounded since the allegations of two years ago, instead employed as an assistant director of operations in the 366th Operations Support Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.
Previously, Lt. Col. Fehrenbach was a weapons-systems officer on F-15Es. He served in Iraq and won nine Air Medals, including one for valor.
Preident Obama has said that the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy needs to be repealed.