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Federal Court Overturns Military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy: Read the Ruling Here

A federal judge has declared the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy unconstitutional and barred the military from enforcing it, ruling in a case brought by the Log Cabin Republicans.

Soldier The L.A. Times reports:

"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."

Phillips has given the plaintiffs until September 16 to submit a proposed judgment, including a permanent injunction, consistent with the Court's opinion. The Department of Justice then must submit its objections by September 23.

Said LCR executive director R. Clarke Cooper: "As an American, a veteran and an Army reserve officer, I am proud the court ruled that the arcane ‘don't ask, don't tell’ statute violates the Constitution. Today, the ruling is not just a win for Log Cabin Republican service members, but all American service members."

The court agreed to hear the case on June 29. Earlier in June, the Department of Justice asked the judge to defer proceedings in the case "because the political branches have taken concrete steps to facilitate repeal of the DADT statute." 

Closing arguments were held in the case on July 23, at which time the plaintiffs asked the court to declare the policy unconstitutional and issue an injunction, which Phillips did today.

The AP adds: "Government lawyers argued Phillips lacked the authority to issue a nationwide injunction and the issue should be decided by Congress...Six military officers who were discharged under the policy testified during the trial. A decorated Air Force officer testified that he was let go after his peers snooped through his personal e-mail in Iraq...Lawyers also submitted remarks by Obama stating 'don't ask, don't tell' weakens national security."

Alex-nicholson The case through which the law was struck down, Log Cabin Republicans vs. U.S.A., was originally filed in 2004. Servicemembers United's Executive Director, J. Alexander Nicholson (pictured), is the sole named injured party in the lawsuit.

Said Nicholson, a former multi-lingual U.S. Army interrogator who was discharged under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.': "This is an historic moment and an historic ruling for the gay military community and for the readiness and integrity of our Armed Forces. As the only named injured party in this case, I am exceedingly proud to have been able to represent all who have been impacted and had their lives ruined by this blatantly unconstitutional policy. We are finally on our way to vindication." 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweets: "Fed'l judge in CA has ruled #DADT unconstitutional. Great news! It's my hope that DOJ does not appeal. DADT is immoral & hurts our military."

HERE'S THE RULING:

DADT Unconstitutional

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Comments

  1. Once again we're beholden to the federal courts for doing what the congressional pieces of sh*t we elected were too chicken-sh*t to do. Now we wait to find out whether our piece of sh*t president will do what the republican governor of California refused to do in the Prop. 8 case: appeal.

    Posted by: Keppler | Sep 10, 2010 12:55:47 AM


  2. We also need to see how the military claims that a federal judge has no jurisdiction over the military.

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 10, 2010 1:39:12 AM


  3. Ari: swallow your ego.

    Do us a favor.

    Do yourself a favor.

    Do NOT write about this. Your essay on the ban yesterday proved you don't know shit from Shinola about it.

    Spare us anymore. Please.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Sep 10, 2010 2:04:05 AM


  4. I'm so happy to hear this, despite not being American. My friends are like, "what's a DADT?" but now I don't have to bother trying to explain it to them anymore.

    Posted by: Eric26 | Sep 10, 2010 2:14:45 AM


  5. Paul R: DADT is not a military regulation, it is a federal law passed by Congress therefore subject to our constitution and the courts.

    Posted by: Major707 | Sep 10, 2010 3:12:19 AM


  6. Miss Michael Bedwell who the fuck you think you are? Bitch ass if you know so much then why don't your FICTIONAL WRITING ASS run for office.

    You could be the love child of Bill (D.A.D.T) Clinton!

    Posted by: Chris | Sep 10, 2010 3:29:48 AM


  7. ratbastard, or grabbinnewscum...which one are you tonight cracker face faggot?

    POSTED BY: MOSHI | SEP 10, 2010 12:13:07 AM

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Negress please

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 10, 2010 6:47:27 AM


  8. J. Alexander Nicholson be one fine ass looking cracker

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 10, 2010 6:50:06 AM


  9. To S who asked about the movie Soldier's Girl: yes I have seen it as I am sure man yon this site have. It is a real story about real people. The soldier's name is Barry Winchell. His parents recently commented on the fact that DADT needs to be repealed. The "girl" in question is Calpernia Addams.Here is some more info from Wikipedia:
    Winchell's parents, Wally and Patricia Kutteles, and many others continue to press for a re-examination of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. Despite campaigning by the Kutteleses and LGBT activist groups, the Commanding General of Fort Campbell at the time of the murder, Major General Robert T. Clark, refused to take responsibility for the purported anti-gay climate at Fort Campbell under his command.[11] After being exonerated, he was nominated and approved for promotion to Lieutenant General on 5 December 2003.

    Lieutenant General Timothy Maude however, did visit with Patricia Kutteles. He was a point man on LGBT issues for the U.S. Army and his services to that community were greatly appreciated by C. Dixon Osburn, Executive Director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. Maude was killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    The 2003 film Soldier's Girl is based on Winchell's murder and the events leading up to the brutal slaying. Winchell was portrayed by Troy Garity. The film received a Peabody Award and numerous Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, and sparked renewed debate of the effects of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy during the Clark promotion hearings.

    Posted by: Rann | Sep 10, 2010 8:58:20 AM


  10. Huh ? I seem to have woken in a parallel universe.
    It has been obvious that this DADT was always unconstitutional.......and further that persons discharged under it have a right to:
    reinstatement
    and/or loss of earnings
    loss of career opportunity
    aggravated damages for breach of a constitutional right
    restoration of all pension losses.....etc.

    What is more interesting is if those damages should be punitive on the basis that the breach of rights was cynical and deliberate, ie political rather than necessary or reasonable.

    Now, am I dreaming or did it take Log Cabin Republicans to bring this case ? Shame on us .

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 10, 2010 9:59:21 AM


  11. Let's not get caught up in who brought the case. While we may not agree with all their stances, the Log Cabin Rebuplicans are part of the GLBT umbrella and I appreciate all they do and have done in this case!

    Posted by: Rann | Sep 10, 2010 10:17:40 AM


  12. "Now, am I dreaming or did it take Log Cabin Republicans to bring this case ?"

    If I recall correctly, it was just a couple months ago that groups like HRC were condemning the LCR for taking this route and went out of their way to sabotage it. Now they're all swooping in like vultures to claim victory.

    http://www.queerty.com/log-cabin-republicans-fought-to-have-a-dadt-and-nobody-bothered-showing-up-20100720/

    Posted by: gaylib | Sep 10, 2010 10:55:57 AM


  13. I am so happy to see this decision before I die. As a veteran and a senior citizen, I never thought I would see this day. It is not final yet and I'm sure it will be fought tooth and nail by bigots including the Obama DOJ. I can hardly believe I made the mistake of voting for Obama after he promised us so much and delivered nothing. As I reflect on being a progressive liberal over the years, I realize it was mostly because I thought their agenda gave me the best chance for equality. This decision is the first step in me changing political affiliations. If this decision stands and DOMA is eliminated and gay marriage is legal, I will be the first to join the LCR. Being fiscally conservative, believing wellfare is out of control, and wanting a hard line on immagration, I will have to join them (but only after the above takes place). Let's not forget the black and Latino communities were very instrumental in passing prop. 8. I'm through championing their causes when they stab us in the back. Admittedly, swallowing Republicans like Palin, Limbaugh, Joe the Plumber, Baneher, Bush, will be tough.

    Posted by: Robert | Sep 10, 2010 11:22:13 AM


  14. Don't forget Iowa - these equality issues should all be 9-0 SCOTUS slam-dunks. It's pathetic to watch the DEMS slither under rocks to avoid doing the right thing; as if equality could dig them a bigger hole than the one they're already in.

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Sep 10, 2010 11:38:34 AM


  15. WOW, great news. Happy to read this here in Spain.

    Posted by: Michael Tonello | Sep 10, 2010 12:43:13 PM


  16. You guys sicken me with your "well as long as I got mine" attitude. I am white and straight and I have always, always, ALWAYS fought for the rights of minorities, especially YOURS. I'm not gay, black, or poor and yet I give a shit about all those groups. Fancy that. And you know what? I'll continue to give a shit even as you stab a big ol' knife in my back and everyone else who has treated you with the love and respect everyone deserves. It's called having a soul.

    Try to find one with Palin, Limbaugh, et al. As long as you got yours, and you don't have to extend yourself to anyone else, you'll crawl right into bed with the haters. Nice. This kind of shit actually makes my heart ache.

    I'm glad for this ruling, I truly am.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 10, 2010 4:34:24 PM


  17. Stop pointing fingers at OBAMA, it's not going to do anyone as much good as it is to make local changes and encourage people to come out. President Obama is not the enemy, and has to deal with EVERYONE's needs.

    Hooooray for the good news!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Sep 10, 2010 5:05:47 PM


  18. Thanks for the support, ANON. My experience has been that those attitudes (and republicans) become much more prevalent the older people are. I can’t tell you how many older gays have told me that they are just fine with civil unions (if they support marriage equality at all) and that we will not see full equality for 20 or 30 years. These are the same folks who felt it necessary to stay in the closet in order to “pass” and make their lives easier. I think those ugly, selfish values are largely a generational thing.

    Posted by: MARKD | Sep 10, 2010 5:52:36 PM


  19. Thanks MARKD. I truly hope you're right. It breaks my heart to see people so readily turn on one another and to paint their friends as their enemies. But that's the republican strategy. That's what ugly people do. Divide and conquer is their MO.

    Don't go down that road people--there is only one guy left standing that way, and it ain't you.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 10, 2010 6:48:05 PM


  20. It's so disappointing to hear so many obtuse, and partisan comments in the light of this HUGE victory for gays (probably the first in decades). You should all be kissing gay Republicans' asses for having the balls to fight for YOUR equality!!! This suit was originated in 2004, by the LCR. Obama's, DOJ has fought it vigorously. And it's not like the LCR even has support from the overall gay community. It took a lot of courage, patience and money!

    For those of you that think throwing your vote away to whomever smiles at you is the way to go, you should be ashamed for being idiots.

    The GOP is becomming VERY inclusive and sympathetic to the GLBT community and causes. Megan McCain, Dick Cheney, Laura Bush, et al, openly support gay marriage (more than I can say about any prominent Democrats)!!! HELP THEM, HELP YOU!

    Posted by: JB | Sep 11, 2010 10:16:36 AM


  21. Beware , it would be just like the GOP to throw their lcr into the ring only to win the battle and head in the other direction. This might be Our Trojan Horse, to get us to vote Rep. Don't leave the Democratic party just because the lcr talked a judge into starting something she cannot finish .

    Posted by: yaaah69 | Sep 11, 2010 11:11:04 AM


  22. HOO RAAA
    My fellow Gay americans, Congrats.

    Just remember a Person with a gun is a citizen,
    A man with out a gun is a slave.

    I rest assure you, there would be so much less gay bashing if every one knew, that attacking a gay person means getting a gun pointed at you.

    I live in the notch of the bible belt in a East Texas Town.
    I walk every where, I am openly out. I also were a hat that say Armed and fabulous.

    My Fellow gay americans please defend yourself.
    May your God/Gods or no god Bless your day.

    Posted by: Austin Rozzell | Sep 13, 2010 10:25:06 AM


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