By Kathleen Gilbert

TACOMA, Washington, September 27, 2010 ( – Gay rights proponents are celebrating after a district court judge ordered that a lesbian be reinstated to her position in the U.S. Air Force, years after she was dismissed for being a practicing homosexual.

The case of Margaret Witt, a former U.S. Air Force flight nurse, appears to be the first in which a judge has ordered a service member dismissed under the military's “don't ask, don't tell” (DADT) policy on homosexuality to return.

“The evidence produced at trial overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that the suspension and discharge of Margaret Witt did not significantly further the important government interest in advancing unit morale and cohesion,” concluded U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton in a 15-page opinion issued Friday.

It is unclear whether the Obama administration, which has vowed opposition to DADT and is pushing a repeal, will appeal the decision.

Although Leighton had dismissed the suit in 2007, he was ordered to reconsider it after the U.S. Court of Appeals held that DADT could only be enforced in cases of clear negative impact on military readiness.

Witt was dismissed from the military on a tip from her lover's jilted husband that she was a homosexual. Leighton refused to sustain her dismissal on grounds of adultery.

Senate Democrats attempted to push through a repeal of the policy last week, but were blocked by a GOP filibuster.