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TAVA Congratulates ACLU on winning the Diane Schroer Case

For Immediate Release:
Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)
Contact: Monica Helms – President, TAVA
Alt Contact: Denny Meyer – Media Director, TAVA
Phone: (718) 849-5665

On September 19, 2008, Judge James Robertson of the United States Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of former Army Colonel Diane Schroer in her discrimination case against the Library of Congress.

“It is especially gratifying that the court has ruled that discriminating against someone for transitioning is illegal,” said Diane Schroer, the plaintiff in the case.

“The court got it exactly right, sending a loud and clear message to employers everywhere: if you fire or refused to hire someone for transitioning, you are guilty of sex discrimination and may well find yourself liable,” said Sharon McGowan, one of the ACLU LGBT Project staff attorneys who tried the case.

The entire Board of Directors and the membership of the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) wish to congratulate the ACLU for winning this landmark case for one of our fellow veterans in fighting discrimination in federal employment.  We watched this case closely and followed all the ups and downs over the last four years.  We also wish to thank Colonel Schroer for all she has done to keep this country free.  If she was good enough to serve her country, she’s good enough to hold a civilian federal job.

“For members of TAVA,” stated Angela Brightfeather, Vice President of TAVA, “the court decision in favor of Diane Schroer is confirmation of her love of country and why GLBT Veterans have fought and died for America in every military conflict since the founding of our Nation.  The courage, tenacity, leadership, common sense and moral certainty of Ms. Schroer in her fight for equality will benefit gender diverse people and help to stop discrimination against them.  Both Ms. Schroer and the ACLU deserve a ‘well done’ and ‘mission accomplished’ from all Transgender Veterans and active service members.”

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Founded in 2003, the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) is a 501 (c) 3 organization that acts proactively with other concerned civil rights and human rights organizations to ensure that transgender veterans will receive appropriate care for their medical conditions in accordance with the Veterans Health Administration’s Customer Service Standards promise to “treat you with courtesy and dignity . . . as the first class citizen that you are.”  Further, TAVA will help in educating the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) on issues regarding fair and equal treatment of transgender individuals.  Also, TAVA will help the general transgender community when deemed appropriate and within the IRS guidelines.

Denny Meyer

Denny Meyer

Sgt. First Class Denny Meyer, the son of WWII Holocaust refugees, was reared bilingually in the mid 1940s postwar immigrant refugee community on New York City ‘s Upper West Side . His mother, he notes with pride, arrived at Ellis Island as an illegal alien fleeing Nazi persecution. She taught him that, “there is nothing more precious than American Freedom.”

He has been an activist for over 50 years, starting with his first march with the NAACP at the age of 13 in 1960, working for civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights and transgender rights for our military service members and veterans.

In 1968 he volunteered, “To pay my country back for my family’s freedom.” He served for ten years in two services; in the Navy aboard an aircraft carrier, in a Huey helicopter squadron HQ, at NATO US headquarters; and in specialized Army Reserve units; and served as an inter-agency liaison and negotiator.

Sgt. Denny has spoken at universities and colleges including Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Hofstra, and Lehman (CUNY) among other venues; combining history, humor, pathos, and anger to tell his story.

In addition to serving as TAVA’s Media Director, he is the national Public Affairs and Veterans Affairs officer of AVER and edits

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