Statement on Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling to Uphold Stay on DADT Injunction
WASHINGTON, D.C. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( SLDN ) , a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ( DADT ) , released a statement today on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issuing a stay pending appeal of the judgment in the Log Cabin Republicans v. United States case, which found DADT unconstitutional. Last month, U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ordered an injunction that suspended and discontinued all investigations and discharges under the law.
Statement by Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:
"Today's decision is a major disappointment, and it underscores the urgent need for the Senate to act this month in the lame duck session to end this confusion and bring about the finality that is needed. We continue to warn service members that it is unsafe to come out as long as this law remains on the books."
WARNING: Gay and lesbian service members OR those interested in signing up to serve who have questions should contact the SLDN legal hotline to speak with an attorney: 202-328-3244 x100. SLDN also re-issued its warning to active-duty service members, including those in the reserves and the national guard, to know they're at risk. Anyone with questions or concerns should call our hotline or visit: www.SLDN.org/StillAtRisk.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( www.sldn.org ) is a national, non-profit legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." A journalists' guide is available here.
Lambda Legal Disappointed: Ninth Circuit Puts Injunction Against Don't Ask, Don't Tell On Hold
"The pressure is now on Congress to repeal this fundamentally un-American law."
In response to today's procedural ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal permitting"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to remain temporarily in effect during an appeal, Lambda Legal issued the following statement from Staff Attorney Peter Renn:
"Today's ruling means additional months or even years of needless suffering by lesbian, gay and bisexual service members, who must continue to live in fear of discovery until the appeals process is complete or until Congress or the President steps up to the plate. But it's important to remember what today's ruling was not: a consideration of the merits of the case. That remains for another day.
"Each day that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' remains in effect, it destroys lives and careers, undermines national security, and forces the discharge of the very personnel our military needs in a time of war. The pressure is now on Congress to repeal this fundamentally un-American law and on the President, who can issue a stop-loss order to put an immediate end to discharges under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'"
Lambda Legal filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, brought by Log Cabin Republicans, urging the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to leave in place pending appeal an injunction against the law, saying that its impact extends far beyond those in uniform, to include lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults and youth, who must contend with the consequences of the discriminatory message perpetuated by"Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
For more information, please go to www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/lcr-v-usa.html .
HRC Statement: Ninth Circuit Continues DADT Injunction Stay, Post-Election Senate Action Critical to Repeal of Discriminatory, Unconstitutional Law
WASHINGTON The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) civil rights organization, today expressed disappointment with the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' decision to continue a stay of an injunction blocking "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" enforcement. For now, the military's ban on openly lesbian and gay service members remains in effect. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement:
"Every day that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is in force, Americans are losing out on the best and brightest service members defending our country. For the good of our national security, the endless legal wrangling and political posturing has to stop. This is the year for the President to lead and for Congress to clean up the mess it made when it enacted this discriminatory and unconstitutional law nearly two decades ago."
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
NEW YORK - A federal appeals court today agreed to block a district court's order halting enforcement of the military's discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy while the government appeals the lower court's ruling to strike down the statute.
The Department of Justice ( DOJ ) has stated its intent to appeal a district court's ruling that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a short-term order staying the district court's injunction against the policy on October 20. The temporary stay was issued to allow DOJ and plaintiffs, the Log Cabin Republicans, time to file briefs regarding whether or not to suspend enforcement of the policy for the duration of the appeals process. Today's decision allows for enforcement of the policy to continue.
The following can be attributed to James Esseks, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project:
"It is extremely disappointing that the appeals court has once again put on hold the district court's order to stop enforcement of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Time and again, the courts have found that this discriminatory and unconstitutional policy has compromised the effectiveness of our military. 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' has been an affront to our values of fairness and equality for far too long, and will be looked upon with shame in years to come. There is still time for the Justice Department to be on the right side of history and refrain from pursuing legal efforts to have this policy reinstated. Americans willing to fight and die for their country shouldn't be kept out simply because they're lesbian or gay."
Servicemembers United Statement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, issued the following statement today in response to the Ninth Circuit's acceptance of the government's request for a longer stay of the injunction barring enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy:
"It is really unfortunate that the government has tricked the Ninth Circuit into believing that 'enormous consequences,' 'immediate harm,' and 'irreparable injury' will result from a continuation of the injunction," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the only named veteran plaintiff in the case. "By the government's own admission elsewhere, none of these predicted consequences or injuries have come to pass while the law has been enjoined, and the Defense Department has even voluntarily created a de facto moratorium on discharges by further increasing the level of discharge authority. It is concerning that the government can so blatantly pull one over on an appeals court, and it is equally frustrating that such a distinguished court would allow itself to be fooled so obviously and so publicly in the name of 'deference.' Abdication is more like it."
In light of this stalling of justice, the very narrow legislative path remains the only way by which the President, administration officials, and the congressional leadership can keep their promise to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" this year. In order for there to be any chance for legislative success, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid absolutely must bring the National Defense Authorization Act back up on the Senate floor before the Senate recesses for Thanksgiving.
In a video released online late last week, Servicemembers United's Executive Director explained the very narrow path available to achieve a legislative victory on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" by the end of the year. The video can be viewed on Servicemembers United's YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/ServicemembersUnited.
To find out more about Servicemembers United and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" please visit www.ServicemembersUnited.org .