Leonard Matlovich  (1943)

Leonard Matlovich (1943)

Vietnam War · US Air Force

Description from findagrave for Leonard Phillip Matlovich

  • https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/2660/leonard-phillip-matlovich

Son of Leonard Charles Matlovich 1919–2007 and Vera Mae Wiseman Matlovich 1912–2001

Social Reformer. A Technical Sergeant in the United States Air Force, he was a proud, gay veteran who challenged the Air Force policy on automatically discharging gay service members as "unfit for military service." In 1975, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War with 15 years of service, he openly announced his sexual orientation, and the Air Force promptly discharged him. In 1980, he successfully sued the Air Force for reinstatement, and the court ordered the Air Force to allow him to rejoin the Air Force. However, he settled for a one time payment of $160,000 from the Air Force, and did not retire. The case ruling allowed gay men and women to remain in the military as long as they abstained from any form of sexual activity and kept "in the closet." Later, he lived in San Francisco, California, and became active in the Gay Rights movement. His court case was made into a TV-Movie "Sergeant Matlovich vs. the US Air Force" and was telecast on August 21, 1978.

      The Morning Herald (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) 9 Sep 1975, Tue • Page 4

        Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, Arkansas) 9 Sep 1975, Tue • Page 4

          Daily Sitka Sentinel (Sitka, Alaska) 23 Jun 1988, Thu • Page 8

            Santa Cruz Sentinel (Santa Cruz, California) 24 Jun 1988, Fri • Page 14