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Judge imposes ban on 'don't ask', don't tell' policy on gays in the military [Updated]

Image: Gays in this military

A federal judge in Riverside, who last month struck down the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, on Tuesday imposed an injunction ordering federal officials not to enforce the controversial policy on gays in the military.

The federal government has 60 days to appeal, but Justice Department attorneys have not said whether they will.

"Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Act, or pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 654 or its implementing regulations, on or prior to the date of this Judgment," U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips wrote.

In September, Phillips said the policy banning gays did not preserve military readiness, contrary to what many supporters have argued, and that evidence shows that the policy in fact had a "direct and deleterious effect" on the military. She also found that "don't ask, don't tell" violated the 1st Amendment.

Phillips said at the time that she would issue an injunction barring the government from enforcing the policy.

The case was filed by the Log Cabin Republicans, the largest political organization for gays in the GOP, in 2004.

[Updated at 1:14 p.m.: During the trial, Justice Department attorney Paul G. Freeborne argued that Congress -- not a federal court -- should have the authority and the responsibility to enact military policy. The sole evidence presented by the Justice Department was the legislative history of the ban, which government lawyers argued showed that the policy was properly adopted by Congress through a deliberative and reasoned political process. No witnesses were called.

Conversely, attorneys for the Log Cabin Republicans called to the stand several decorated military officers discharged for their sexual orientation, including Air Force Maj. Michael Almy. Almy, deployed three times to Iraq, said his commanding officer attempted to force him to admit he was a homosexual after another service member, without permission, searched Almy's private e-mail and found a message discussing homosexual conduct. After fighting his dismissal for 16 months, Almy agreed to accept an honorable discharge.]

-- Phil Willon and Shelby Grad

Photo: A demostration in Washington last year. Credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (42)

i'm not OF the pursuasion,nor do i advocate in behalf of gays (unless they are on the side of precision in truth)but i have never understood any viable logic to dadt in the first place. gays should have and be allowed to have PROFESSIONAL standards in the military like any other profession. (point 2-gay marriage has ALSO never been in the best interest of gays either....but thats a debate for a separate fourm).

I think all gays should serve in the military regardless of their age. I won' t ask how old you are and won't tell anyone. I hear Afghanistan is very nice this time of year. Drop me a postcard please.

I served proudly in the 90's. I had no problem then, nor do I have one now with gays serving.

"Bible-thumpers need to lighten up" --that sounds like hate speech by homosexuals against Christians.

The argument against homosexuality is primarily Darwinian. They do not contribute to the survival off humanity.

I am the father of 10 girls and 2 boys. If a person is fighting for my country and my freedom, it is not important to me, what his sexual choose is.

What a wonderful debate! How incredibly American that we get together and kick around the issues. An electronic soap box, as it were. Keep it up. I'm loving it. My big problem is with this business of legislating from the bench. Congress does it's thing, the military has its input. But when the courts get involved, the concept of checks and balances goes right out the window. They don't care what the legislature or the white house say, they don't care what the people want, they just scoop up all this good poop and dictate how it's going to be. Lately the legislative and executive branches have come under a great deal of scrutiny. Maybe it's time to shine a little light on the judicial branch.

I'm surprised those who advocate for DADT aren't celebrating the court defeat suffered by the Obama administration's DOJ.

Or, indeed, that Clinton's DADT policy has been declared unconstitutional.

Or, for that matter, that the Republican Log Cabin plaintiffs won in court.

I guess teh gay is simply too much to contemplate in Conservative Land (unless you're a Republican who hasn't yet come yet).

Back in June of 2009 the NY times did a general/generic story on gay-straight male friendships. The research found that the most successful gay-straight male friendships were those between a gay male and a straight male with a military background.

I think we need to give our service members more credit than they are being given by ranking officials. What, we're only one of two countries left on the planet that don't allow gays to serve in their militaries? And we're supposed to be an advanced nation? Sounds just the opposite to me...

Step aside President Obama with your empty promises and lack of action... Judge Virginia A. Phillips for President 2012!!!

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ, 64 Stat. 109, 10 U.S.C. Chapter 47), is the foundation of military law in the United States. It was established by the United States Congress in accordance with the authority given by the United States Constitution in Article I, Section 8, which provides that "The Congress shall have Power . . . To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval forces." (Uniform Code of Military Justice, Wikipedia)

Soldiers are disciplined, not AWOL, dedicated to service for their country.

Now the military courts will be drowned in civil rights & sexual harrassment lawsuits.

Fantastic! Another huge blow to ignorance and primitive bronze age thinking, nice to see that freedom and pursuit of happiness are actually starting to mean something in the USA.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips has her head in the toilet. Barny Frank, Kevin Jennings and Elana Kagan... Misfits all! This country, run by Socialists/Communists has gone to hell in a hand basket.

While I support the opportunity for gays to serve in the military, what is more significant is that this is yet another case of a judge superseding the legislature based upon that judge's knee jerk personal view of the "constitution".

If judges are so smart that they alone can discern what is and what is not constitutional, why not just have judges make all the laws, we would save a lot of money by getting rid of the congress and the state legislatures.

Respect for the law? You have got to be kidding.

All I wanna know is where were all you ladies in 1968 when I was in the Marine Corps...oh that's right...you "marys" were busy buring your draft cards and protesting the war...we Marines were "baby-killers" in those days...

I wish you girls would "make up your minds"...

Of course, you ladies aren't really interested in going to war; you just wanna get in the military so you can check out the "plumbing" in the showers...the first time, you get deployed, you marys will be the first ones declaring you're "unfit for military service."

Do us all a favor & go enlist in the Salvation Army...I'm sure they can fit you girls in a very nice uniform skirt & pumps...all sizes.

Here's a question for everyone who thinks that this will ruin unit cohesion:

Why do you have such a low opinion of our soldiers, sailors & marines?

We expect them to travel halfway across the world on a moment's notice and be dropped into the back end of nowhere while surrounded by people who want them dead. Yet, you think that they will get wigged out because the guy driving the Hummer has a boyfriend back home.

22 out of the 26 countries that participate militarily in NATO allow openly GLB military personel to serve - none saw major disruptions when the policy was enacted. Are our military personel less disciplined and professional than, say, the Albanian army? Is there something that makes an American soldier less tolerant than an Israeli one?

The thing is, I work with Marines on a daily basis. If you want to tell them that they couldn't handle having a homosexual Marine in their unit, please give me plenty of warning so I can be outside of the blast radius

None of the proponents to this Judge's ruling has addressed/countered one of this debate's most salient points raised by Joe.

Currently, there are no co-ed berthing compartments or dormitories (at last in the Navy). Different sexes are kept separate. How can you reconcile segregating men and women while allowing co-habitation of homosexuals and heterosexuals? Joe is absolutely correct in stating that these situations as being absolutely analogous.

To those that state other NATO countries allow homosexuals to serve, I would submit that the United States has a much more conservative moral compass than our bretheren in Europe. This is nowhere more apparent than in their primetime television, which is much more sexually liberal in what they are willing to air.

Bottom line, why should my sister maintain the right to sexual privacy through segregated berthing when I am not afforded that same right? To put it more crassly, when I can sleep in your sister's room, then I will support this judge's ruling.

Let anyone serve who wishes to serve. Don't Judge, just love instead. This is America my friends.

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