A federal suit brought by the Log Cabin Republicans has succeeded--at least, temporarily. A federal judge has declared Don't Ask, Don't Tell unconstitutional:
A federal judge in Riverside declared the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional Thursday, saying the “don't ask, don't tell” policy violates the 1st Amendment rights of lesbians and gay men.
U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips said the policy banning gays did not preserve military readiness, contrary to what many supporters have argued, saying evidence shows that the policy in fact had a “direct and deleterious effect’’ on the military.
Phillips said she would issue an injunction barring the government from enforcing the policy. However, the U.S. Department of Justice, which defended “don’t ask, don’t tell” during a two-week trial in Riverside, will have an opportunity to appeal that decision.
The Department of Justice defended the policy during the two-week trial, and a substantial part of the argument apparently centered around the idea that the Judge in the case did not have the authority to issue an injunction, and that only Congress could reverse the policy. It has yet to be seen if the Administration will appeal the decision or let it stand, though it would be kind of mind-blowing for a President to decide he wants to appeal a ruling that gets rid of a policy he supposedly opposes.
The bottom line is that for the time being, we have two consecutive substantial court victories for equality.
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