Federal Judge Orders Ban on DADT

Yesterday, US District Court Judge Virginia Phillips issued an order that bans the Department of Defense and the US military from enforcing their so-called “don’t ask don’t tell” policy, which bars gays from openly serving in the military. Phillips wrote that DADT “infringes the fundamental rights of United States service members and prospective service members” and ordered the military to immediately drop any pending investigations or proceedings, according to the New York Times. The government can file an appeal of Phillips’ ruling within a 60-day period. Drew Hammill, a spokesman for US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told the LA Times that Pelosi “continues to believe, until the Senate can act on the repeal of this policy and send it to the president’s desk, the administration should place a moratorium on all dismissals under this policy.” Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that the policy should be determined by legislation, not a court order, and told the New York Times that the order would have “enormous consequences” for service members. On September 9, Phillips ruled that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) is unconstitutional on the basis that it violates both the first and fifth amendment rights of lesbian and gay service members. The original lawsuit was filed by the Log Cabin Republicans against the federal government in 2004. DADT was instituted by former President Bill Clinton in 1993 and prohibits the military from inquiring about a service member’s sexual orientation, and also calls for the discharge of anyone who acknowledges being lesbian or gay. Thus far, the policy has led to the expulsion of more than 13,000 troops.


Feminist Daily Newswire 9/10/2010; New York Times 10/12/2010, 10/13/2010; LA Times 10/13/2010

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