Lambda Legal Sues Pentagon For Firing HIV+ Airmen

Today, Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, with partner law firm Winston & Strawn, filed a lawsuit on behalf of two HIV-positive members of the United States Air Force who were given discharge orders just days before the holiday season.

Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN filed the lawsuit, Roe and Voe v. Mattis, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. As detailed in a Washington Post exclusive, the case was filed anonymously to protect the plaintiffs’ medical privacy.

The plaintiffs received notification just days before Thanksgiving, denying their discharge appeals despite compliance with fitness assessments and medical treatment, as well as strong support from commanding officers. Nevertheless, the plaintiffs were found “unfit for continued military service.”

“It’s disgusting that the Trump Administration is sending some men and women in uniform home for the holidays without jobs simply because of their HIV status,” said Scott Schoettes, Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal.

“These decisions should be based on science, not stigma. Lambda Legal is suing to stop these separations and will not stop fighting until President Trump understands that there’s not a job in the world a person living with HIV cannot safely perform, including the job of soldier.”