Via press release from Lambda Legal:
Today, a federal judge ordered the U.S. Department of Defense and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to halt discharge proceedings against HIV-positive members of the U.S. Air Force. The order came in the case of Roe and Voe v. Shanahan, filed by Lambda Legal and OutServe-SLDN, with partner law firm Winston & Strawn, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The two Airmen serving as plaintiffs, who filed pseudonymously, were given discharge orders at the end of last year after being found “unfit for continued military service” despite compliance with medical treatment and physical fitness requirements.
Despite support from their medical providers and commanding officers, the first of these Airmen was to be separated from service in just ten days. In granting the preliminary injunction, the judge ruled the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in preventing their discharge through the lawsuit and rejected the Trump Administration’s motion to dismiss.
“This is a major victory in our fight to ensure everyone living with HIV can serve their country without discrimination,” said Scott Schoettes, Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal.
“These decisions should be based on science, not stigma, as today’s ruling from the bench demonstrates. Despite President Trump’s promise to improve the lives of people living with HIV at the State of the Union this month, his Administration continues to defend these policies and others discriminating against people most impacted by HIV. Lambda Legal will keep fighting until these brave and qualified Airmen can serve without limitation.”