Leonard Phillip Matlovich Jr.

Leonard Phillip Matlovich Jr.

Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, USA
Death 22 Jun 1988 (aged 44)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA
Plot Range 20, Site 161-162
Memorial ID 2660 · View Source
Suggest Edits

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.

Family Members


A gay Vietnam Veteran. When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.


In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees



How famous was Leonard Phillip Matlovich Jr.?

Current rating:

130 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2660
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Leonard Phillip Matlovich Jr. (6 Jul 1943–22 Jun 1988), Find a Grave Memorial no. 2660, citing Congressional Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .