Log Cabin Republicans is continuing to fight "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ( DADT ) , presenting arguments Oct. 25 in opposition to the Obama administration's recent request for a stay, according to an organizational press release.
The enforcement of DADT was stopped for eight days after U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ruled in favor of Log Cabin. However, the policy was reinstated when the Department of Justice was granted a temporary emergency stay.
"In its latest appeal, the Obama Administration is putting paperwork ahead of the fundamental constitutional rights of servicemembers," said R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans. "This is just another in a long line of delay tactics from a President who has not missed an opportunity to defend this policy in court."
Lambda Legal and Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, have also taken action, filing friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the Log Cabins' case, according to releases from the groups. Lambda's brief argues that DADT puts undue pressure on LGB service members in that they have to live in constant fear of being discovered.
Lambda Legal Urges Court: Do Not Stay Injunction Against "Don't Ask Don't Tell"
"'Don't Ask Don't Tell' is nothing short of a public pronouncement that discrimination … is acceptable"
( Los Angeles, October 25, 2010 ) - Lambda Legal today filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to leave in place pending appeal the injunction a federal district court judge issued against enforcement of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" ( DADT ) ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, saying that the policy's impact extends far beyond those in uniform and that continuing it would do irreparable harm to lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans.
The brief was filed in support of a case brought by Log Cabin Republicans against the discriminatory policy. On September 9, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips declared DADT unconstitutional and, on October 12, enjoined its continued enforcement by the military. The DOJ then filed a motion for Phillips to stay the injunction pending appeal of the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Phillips denied the motion, and the DOJ then subsequently filed a motion with the Court of Appeals requesting a stay of the injunction pending appeal.
Lambda Legal's amicus brief argues that DADT takes a heavy toll on lesbian, gay and bisexual ( LGB ) service members, forcing them to live in constant fear of being discovered. But its influence extends far off American military bases: "DADT is nothing short of a public pronouncement by the federal government that discrimination against LGB people is acceptable, that LGB people are inferior to heterosexual people, and that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is a shameful trait that ought to be concealed."
The brief also argues that DADT's discriminatory message is particularly damaging to lesbian, gay and bisexual youth, as exemplified by the surge of recently-reported teen suicides caused by antigay bullying. "The government cannot plausibly claim that its actions are unrelated to such tragedies and abuses, so long as it remains the nation's leading model for open discrimination against LGB people."
"'Don't Ask Don't Tell' dishonors the memory of lesbian, gay and bisexual service members who have given their lives for this country," said Peter Renn, Lambda Legal Staff Attorney. "It also terrorizes the living, forcing them to be constantly on guard, even in private conversations on the phone or through email. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that we all have a constitutionally protected right to intimacy, and you don't lose that right when you enlist in the military."
Log Cabin Republicans File Briefs with Ninth Circuit to Reinstate Injunction Against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
( Washington, DC ) - Log Cabin Republicans continues to fight against enforcement of discriminator 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, today presenting arguments in opposition to the Obama administration's recent request for a stay. Enforcement of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was halted for eight days after Log Cabin's victory at trial last September, only to be temporarily reinstated when the Department of Justice was granted a temporary emergency stay.
"In its latest appeal, the Obama Administration is putting paperwork ahead of the fundamental constitutional rights of servicemembers," said R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans. "This is just another in a long line of delay tactics from a President who has not missed an opportunity to defend this policy in court. As was articulated last week by former United States Solicitor General Ted Olson, the Department of Justice is not obligated to appeal this ruling. Thanks to this injunction, the Pentagon successfully suspended discharges and ended discrimination in recruitment without incident, proving that the United States military is ready and able to implement open service. There is no reason to make our armed forces spend another day enforcing an arbitrary, irrational policy that only undercuts unit cohesion and military readiness. We have faith that the Ninth Circuit, having had the chance to examine the trial record, will agree."
"We weren't surprised by the Ninth Circuit ruling granting the government a temporary stay, given the short amount of time the judges had to consider the case," said Dan Woods, White & Case partner who is representing Log Cabin Republicans in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America. "Now that the Court has had additional time to study the case and when it has the opportunity to consider the opposition brief we have filed today, we are cautiously optimistic that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will deny the government's motion for a stay of the injunction because the government has not met the factors required for a stay pending appeal. The government's motion does not show that the government is likely to prevail on the merits of the appeal and does not even attempt to refute the fact that the constitutional rights of current and prospective gay and lesbian servicemembers will continue to be violated during any stay. It remains sad and disappointing that the government seeks to continue to enforce 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' by its motion for a stay pending appeal, even as the President has repeatedly said that the policy 'weakens' our national security and recently said in a 'tweet' that he basically agrees with Judge Phillips's decision."
Log Cabin Republicans filed suit in federal district court against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in 2004. The case went to trial in Riverside, California in July of 2010, and Judge Virginia Phillips ruled on September 9, 2010 that the policy violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.
Servicemembers United Files Amicus Curiae Brief with Ninth Circuit in DADT Case
Organization Argues Greater Irreparable Harm to Members if Stay Continues
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, filed an amicus curiae brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today as the Court considers whether to lift a temporary stay of an injunction barring enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ( DADT ) . The case in question, Log Cabin Republicans vs. United States of America, recently resulted in a ruling by District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips that DADT is unconstitutional as well as an injunction barring enforcement of DADT by the Pentagon.
"Servicemembers United used the opportunity to submit a 'Friend of the Court' brief to advance the argument that our members, our organization, and the American public would be irreparably harmed if the stay is kept in place," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United. "Specifically, we argue that many of our members will permanently 'age out' of eligibility to enlist, re-enlist, or commission if the stay is not lifted quickly, among other issues."
Servicemembers United was assisted in the preparation and filing of its amicus curiae brief by the law firm of Sarnoff and Sarnoff in Los Angeles. A copy of the filing can be found at www.servicemembersunited.org/staybrief.
For more information about Servicemembers United or "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," please visit www.ServicemembersUnited.org . For more information about the law firm of Sarnoff and Sarnoff, please visit www.SarnoffLaw.com .