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Don't Ask, Don't Tell Ruled Unconstitutional


By Kelly Thomas - Posted on 09 September 2010

From CNN. Big news for gay-rights advocates tonight. A federal judge in CA ruled that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is unconstitutional. And guess who brought the lawsuit? The "Log Cabin Republicans." Oh, the irony! This certainly puts President Obama in a pickle. What will he do? Come on, President Obama, you are a Constitutional scholar-you know that this is an equal rights issue. You need to get on the right side of history here when it comes to gays serving in the military and gay marriage! Don't fight this-do the right thing, Mr. President.

CNN -- A federal court in Riverside, California, ruled Thursday that the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy -- which bars gay men and lesbians from serving openly -- is unconstitutional.

"Plaintiff has demonstrated it is entitled to the relief sought on behalf of its members, a judicial declaration that the don't ask, don't tell act violates the Fifth and First Amendments, and a permanent injunction barring its enforcement," concluded U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips, a 1999 Clinton appointee.

The 85-page ruling came in a case filed by the group Log Cabin Republicans against the government and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.

"The act discriminates based on the content of the speech being regulated," Phillips wrote. "It distinguishes between speech regarding sexual orientation, and inevitably, family relationships and daily activities, by and about gay and lesbian servicemembers, which is banned, and speech on those subjects by and about heterosexual servicemembers, which is permitted."

But, she noted, "the sweeping reach of the restrictions on speech in the don't ask, don't tell act is far broader than is reasonably necessary to protect the substantial government interest at stake here."

Then, citing examples provided by witnesses, she concluded that "the act's restrictions on speech not only are broader than reasonably necessary to protect the government's substantial interests, but also actually serve to impede military readiness and unit cohesion rather than further these goals."

 

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