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Anthony Loverde, Gay Airman, Allowed To Rejoin Air Force After Winning Lawsuit

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When gay veterans discharged under "don't ask, don't tell" sought to rejoin the military last year, some ran into difficulties returning to the ranks and jobs they had earned. Thanks to a victory in court, however, Anthony Loverde will not face that problem.

The Servicemembers' Legal Defense Network announced on Tuesday that Loverde, an Air Force Staff Sgt. who was kicked out of the military in 2008 because of his sexuality, will be reinstated to active duty at his former rank next month.

"This victory is unique because it is a reinstatement -- not just a reentry -- meaning that Sergeant Loverde will return to his previous rank and be able to continue his career as if it had never been interrupted," said SLDN Legal Director David McKean in a press release. "As a nation, we can never restore what was fully lost by this service member and many like him as a result of DADT, but at SLDN we are working day and night to ensure that those who wish to serve their country again may do so on active duty, in the reserves, or in the guard."

The reinstatement comes after Loverde won a resolution in the case of Almy v. U.S., which challenged his dismissal and dismissals of two other gay service members from the military. While Air Force Major Mike Almy, the plaintiff named in the case, has yet to be reinstated, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jase Daniel won his own resolution in December.

SLDN is also involved in a lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of gay service members currently on active duty. That suit, which was filed in federal court in Massachusetts, is currently being delayed while SLDN awaits the government's response to the case.

UPDATE 4/18 4:11 a.m Zeke Stokes, the communications director for SLDN, contacted The Huffington Post to clarify the details of Loverde's resolution: "The result we announced today was not the outcome of a court ruling. It was an agreement reached between the parties so that Loverde's part of the case doesn't have to proceed to trial. There was no court ruling so this does not set precedent for other service members in similar situations."

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