SVV Member Named Plaintiff In DADT Reinstatement LawsuitAnthony Loverde

A new complaint has been filed against the United States government in federal court asking for the reinstatement of three servicemembers who were discharged under DADT, including one servicemember with ties to Sacramento.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a national, non-profit legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), and Morrison & Foerster LLP filed the complaint on behalf of three plaintiffs named in the complaint, including Anthony Loverde, a member of the Sacramento Valley Veterans.


Also listed in the complaint are Michael Almy and Jason Knight. All were discharged within a three-year span: Almy in 2006, Knight in 2007, and Loverde in 2008.

The filing in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California argues the current “DADT” law and the regulations, policies, and guidance that implement it, are unconstitutional.

“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,” said Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director and Army Veteran Aubrey Sarvis in a released statement. “With this filing we put Congress on notice that a cadre of service members and our national legal team stand ready to litigate strategically around the country.”Staff Sargeant Anthony Loverde

Loverde’s involvement in the complaint is augmented by a long list of awards and decorations obtained during his seven years in the U.S. Air Force. At his discharge, Loverde was a Staff Sergeant (SSgt), a promotion that was awarded early in this career due to his outstanding service record. He is seeking reinstatement to resume his career as a C-130 Loadmaster. The C-130 is a four-engine turboprop military transport plane and the Loadmaster performs pre-flight checks of the aircraft and supervises the loading of the aircraft. Loverde is currently a contractor serving in Iraq, doing effectively the same job with many of his old coworkers, as an openly gay man and has just published A Silent Force, photo book on DADT.

The complaint’s filing comes amid uncertainty regarding the repeal of DADT in Congress.

In early December, the Senate failed to move forward the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contained an amendment for repealing DADT.
Since then, Senators Collins (R-ME), Leiberman (I-CT), and Mark Udall (D-CO) have introduced a stand-alone DADT repeal bill (S. 4023) which could go up for a vote during the lame duck session, although that is not likely as the bill would have to go through the committee process before advancing to the Senate floor. Similar legislation has already passed the House.

“If the Senate isn’t going to push for repealing this policy by this year’s end, the government should be prepared to see more assertive measures taken in the courts in the coming months,” said SVV President Ty Redhouse. “Already we’ve seen from the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) and the Witt cases that DADT is not benefiting this nation’s military at all. This current case will add to that reality.”

 

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