Separation Pay Restored: Victory For Gay NM Veteran And Others

A settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit that involves dozens of gay and lesbian former military service members who received only half of their separation pay after being discharged.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced the $2.4 million settlement Monday. It will allow more than 180 honorably discharged veterans to get their full separation pay.

The ACLU had argued that the former service members had been discriminated against due to their homosexuality.

The case was filed by the ACLU on behalf of former Air Force Staff Sgt. Richard Collins of Clovis. He was honorably discharged in 2006 after two civilians who worked with him at Cannon Air Force Base reported they saw him kiss his boyfriend miles from the base. The decorated sergeant was off-duty and not in uniform at the time.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.