Lesbian nurse fights for her job
A military flight nurse who lost her job because she was in a relationship with another woman is hoping to be reinstated — six years after she was honorably discharged from the US Air Force Reserve.
Former Maj. Margaret Witt was a well-respected flight nurse who was discharged after her relationship with a civilian woman came to light. Although the 1992 don’t-ask-don’t-tell law which prohibits the military from inquiring about members’ sexual orientation, the military is still allowed to discharge members who admit to being gay or who are found to have engaged in homosexual activity. According to MSNBC, a letter from a married civilian man claiming that Witt was in a relationship with his wife prompted the investigation into Witt’s sexuality.
While Witt lost her post — according to don’t-ask-don’t-tell — many of her colleagues have testified that her dismissal hurt their unit’s readiness and morale far more than Witt’s sexuality ever did. They testified that Witt was a competent, well-like flight nurse who added, not subtracted, from the team.
Witt’s case is currently before US District Judge Ronald B. Leighton in federal court in Tacoma, Washington. Her case is being closely watched as Congress considers a repeal of the don’t-ask-don’t-tell law.
Do you think gay nurses have a place in the military?
Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.
By Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN