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By Catholic Online

10/20/2010 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Federal judge refuses to allow U.S. military to reinstate ban under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

A federal judge has formally refused to let the Pentagon reinstate its ban on openly gay men and women in the U.S. military while. In addition, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips will appeal her decision declaring the policy of "don't ask, don't tell" policy unconstitutional.

While gays and lesbian rushed to enlist, gay rights groups told service members to avoid revealing that they are gay, fearing they could find themselves in trouble should the law be reinstated.

While gays and lesbian rushed to enlist, gay rights groups told service members to avoid revealing that they are gay, fearing they could find themselves in trouble should the law be reinstated.

Highlights

By Catholic Online

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/20/2010 (3 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Military, homosexuals, don't ask don't tell, policy


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  A day after tentatively siding against the Obama administration, Judge Phillips issued a written decision denying a government request to lift her own injunction barring further Pentagon enforcement of the ban.

Judge Phillips acknowledged government concerns about military readiness and cohesion, but "these interests are outweighed by the compelling public interest of safeguarding fundamental constitutional rights," she wrote in a six-page opinion.

U.S. President Barack Obama says he vows to end "don't ask, don't tell," but his administration had wanted the judge to allow more time for a political remedy to the issue rather than a court-imposed one.

The Pentagon said a sudden change in the 17-year-old policy, enacted during the Clinton administration would hamper the military.

In a highly significant move - the Defense Department, anticipating an unfavorable ruling this week, has instructed its recruiters for the first time to start accepting applications from enlistees who acknowledge that they are gay.

The administration has served notice that it would take its case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and seek to block Phillips' order there if she denied a stay.

Following Phillips' decision last week striking down "don't ask, don't tell," the Pentagon reiterated that it had told recruiters they must accept gay applicants.

The decision has been embraced by gay rights advocates like Iraq war vet Dan Choi, who appeared at a recruiting station in New York City's Times Square.

"In the recruiting station," Choi said in a Twitter posting. "Apparently I'm too old for the Marines! Just filled out the Army application."

Choi, a lieutenant and Iraq combat veteran, was discharged under "don't ask, don't tell" when he came out as being gay in late 2008.

While gays and lesbian rushed to enlist, gay rights groups told service members to avoid revealing that they are homosexuals or lesbians, fearing they could find themselves in trouble should the law be reinstated.

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