Military ban on openly gay servicemen and women banned
'Don't ask, don't tell' repealed by federal appeals court
A federal appeals court has ruled that the government must stop
enforcing the law that prohibits openly gay men, lesbians and bisexuals
from serving in the military. A three-judge panel of the United States
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a two-page order against
the policy known as "don't ask, don't tell" in a case brought by the
group Log Cabin Republicans.
A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a two-page order against the policy known as 'don't ask, don't tell' in a case brought by the group Log Cabin Republicans.
The policy was repealed by Congress last year, but called for a lengthy process of preparation, training and certification before ending it, and while the government has significantly narrowed enforcement, some discharges for openly gay and lesbian service people continued. While the Obama administration had advocated the Congressional repeal, it had also asked the court to keep the policy in place until the matter could be ended in an orderly fashion.
Judges Alex Kozinski, Kim McLane Wardlaw and Richard A. Paez stated in their order that "circumstances and balance of hardships had changed" since their initial ruling: the Obama administration had informed the court that repeal of the policy was "well under way," and in a filing in another case on July 1, the Department of Justice took the position that discrimination based on sexual orientation should be subjected to tough scrutiny. The government, the judges wrote, "can no longer satisfy the demanding standard for issuance of a stay."
"People no longer should have to wait for the politicians and the bureaucrats to certify that the military is ready for repeal," Dan Woods, the lawyer who represented the Log Cabin Republicans said.
A Department of Justice spokeswoman said, "We're reviewing the ruling," and had no comment on whether the department would appeal the decision.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: 'Don't ask, don't tell, ' gays and lesbains, military service
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