SLDN Statement on U.S. Department of Justice Appeal of U.S. District Court Ruling "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Unconstitutional; DOJ Seeks Stay of 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 ) , issued a statement today on the filing by the U.S. Department of Justice in the case of Log Cabin Republicans v. United States to appeal the earlier ruling by U.S. district judge Virginia A. Phillips that held "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is unconstitutional. DOJ also filed a motion to seek a stay of the injunction which ordered the Defense Department to "immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding" related to DADT.
Statement by Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:
"We are disappointed but not surprised to learn the Department of Justice appealed the decision by Judge Phillips and asked that the injunction not be enforced for now. Judge Phillips will need to decide if the injunction stopping the investigations and discharges is on hold. The earlier decision by the Staff Judge Advocate Generals from the Military Services to abide by the terms in the court's order barring the military from investigating or discharging service members was an extraordinarily positive development. Until that changes, we are monitoring active-duty clients and fielding calls to our hotline.
"It is clear there is confusion and this interim period is dangerous for service members. Our service members need finality. The President needs to deliver on his promise to end the law this year. Given the uncertainty in the courts, we urge the Senate to act swiftly next month on repeal when they return to Washington. Congress made this law over 17 years ago and Congress now has an affirmative responsibility to bring clarity and finality to ending this law.
"We need to put the safety and well being of gay and lesbian service members first. Service members continue to remain vulnerable under DADT. We have clients under investigation and facing discharge right now. We'll be monitoring each case over the coming days."
"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.