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Attorney who fought ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ dies after bicycle collides with truck

Monday, September 1, 2014
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Sher KungTed S. Warren, AP

In this photo taken Sept. 24, 2010, Sher Kung, right, an attorney with the ACLU who was who was killed in a bicycle accident Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 in Seattle, looks on as Margaret Witt, center, and Witt’s partner, Laurie McChesney, left, celebrate as they leave the federal courthouse in Tacoma, Wash.

SEATTLE — The bicyclist who died in a collision with a truck in downtown Seattle on Friday has been identified as a well-respected attorney who was part of the American Civil Liberties Union legal team that successfully challenged the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for gay service members.

Sher KungTed S. Warren, AP

A cyclist walks past a white “ghost bike” memorial, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in downtown Seattle where Sher Kung was killed on her bike Friday in a collision with a truck.

Sher KungTed S. Warren, AP

A note is posted at a memorial, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, in downtown Seattle where Sher Kung was killed on her bike Friday in a collision with a truck.

The King County Medical Examiner’s office identified the bicyclist as Sher Kung, 31, who had been working for the firm Perkins Coie.

In 2010, Kung helped the ACLU represent Air Force Maj. Margaret Witt, a decorated flight nurse dismissed from the military for being gay, ACLU Washington spokesman Doug Honig told The Seattle Times.

Because of the case, the military must show sexual orientation negatively affected morale to dismiss a service member and Witt got her job back, Honig said.

“She was fun to work with and very committed to equal rights for everybody,” he said of Kung.

Kung died less than two weeks before the city planned to make major bicycle-safety improvements to the Second Avenue bike lane, which is notorious among bicyclists because of its left-turns, the newspaper reported.

Police said the truck’s driver was not impaired and is cooperating with the investigation.

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