Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
July 7, 2011 by USA Post
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, A federal appeals court issued a ruling Wednesday that ends the application of the law banning openly gay people serving in the military, citing the recent determination of the Obama administration that gays and lsbns have suffered a history of discrimination.
The law known as “do not ask, do not tell” was declared unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in September, and the prohibition of its application was imposed a month later. U.S. ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Phillips was, however, while it was being appealed and to allow time for the Department of Defense to prepare for the integration of hmosxls in the armed forces.
A panel of three judges of the Court of Appeals lifted that stay in a two-page order Wednesday, granting a motion filed by the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay rights who sued the federal government over “Do not Ask, Do not ‘t tell” seven years ago.
The 9th Circuit order signed by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski and Kim McLane Wardlaw and Richard Paez judges, two persons nominated by President Clinton, citing recent changes in government policy calling for “heightened scrutiny” of laws that discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation, such as the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies same-sex married couples for federal benefits.
Congress repealed the “do not ask” policy last year, but asked a long process of preparation, training and certification before finishing it. While the government has significantly reduced the execution, some downloads continued. And while the Obama administration had advocated the repeal of Congress who had asked the court to keep the stay in place until the policy could end up in an orderly fashion.
Gay rights groups applauded the action of the 9th Circuit, while opponents of gays in the military described the decision as a capitulation to a government that is “leaving the troops.”
Dan Woods, who represented the Log Cabin Republicans, said: “People should not have to wait for the politicians and bureaucrats to certify that the army is ready for the repeal.”
A Justice Department spokesman said: “We are reviewing the ruling,” and did not comment on whether the department would appeal the decision.
Although the suspension is lifted, the 9th Circuit has scheduled a hearing for August 29 to consider whether the government’s appeal of lower court’s decision is valid. But it is unclear whether the Pentagon will conduct the appeal because defense officials have said they will stop enforcing the ban.
Defense officials said the chiefs of the military services plan to submit its recommendations on the repeal of the Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, on Friday. As soon as the Pentagon certifies that the repeal of the ban will have no effect on military readiness, the Army has 60 days to implement the repeal.
Authorities said they believe the ban could be completely lifted in late September. The services have been training their forces in the new law for the past few months. The Navy, Air Force and Marines are largely done with the training and the Army is on track to complete training on active duty on July 15.
Organizations representing gay members and military veterans are warned of active duty or the hope of getting to rush to declare their sexual orientation until the government declares that it intends to comply with the ruling. During the eight days last fall before the 9th Circuit to the application of Phillips injunction prohibiting “do not ask, do not say” pending, several of the nearly 14,000 veterans who were discharged within politics, unsuccessfully tried to return AA enlist.
“As the story goes through the cable, the troops will return to see, as they did last fall that” DADT is dead, ‘”said an Air Force officer, who co-founded a service-member gay support group called OutServe and asked not to be identified by name for fear of being discharged. “More gay troops think this is the soldiers directly inadvertently” out “her friends since most of the troops have been trained, it is best to let the decision stand. “.
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Legal Defense Network The military, said his group has a charge of about 40 cases involving service members who are under investigation for being gay or lsbn.
Local activists welcomed the decision. “It’s good to have someone to take action,” said retired Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer, of Whidbey Island. “We’ve been dillydallying since September. If the military did not act quickly, the courts. I am delighted that the court has intervened”
Cammermeyer challenged successfully download from the Washington State National Guard in 1992 after she had declared she was a lsbn. The court ruling should be a useful “pushes” the government to formally repeal the policy said.
“It is very important. It’s a final judicial ‘do not ask, do not say,’” said Alan Steinman, a gay retired rear admiral of the Coast Guard who now lives in Olympia. “The real question is whether the government will appeal.”
Steinman and Cammermeyer said that many gay service members had been discharged recently.
Steinman cited a Pentagon study reported last year that 70 percent of all troops said he knew someone who was gay, and 90 percent said they did not care.
A Joint Base Lewis-McChord spokeswoman declined to comment on the ruling, referring questions to the Department of Defense.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Michigan-based Center for military readiness that seeks to advocate for “robust military personnel policies,” Obama said the government was overstepping its authority to unilaterally declare laws that define rights based on sexual orientation as unconstitutional. “To say anything involving” sexual orientation “of the phrase becomes a special case of special rights, which is a way to go too far,” he said.
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