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Ninth Circuit blocks enforcement of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

July 6, 2011

The Task Force responded to the ruling today in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States by a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to re-institute an injunction barring the military from enforcing the ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual service members.

The opinion credits the Obama administration’s February decision to subject classifications based on sexual orientation to “heightened scrutiny.” Today’s decision comes on the heels of a brief filed last week by the Department of Justice that reinforced its position that “gay and lesbian individuals have suffered a long and significant history of purposeful discrimination,” leaving the defenders of the policy unable to “satisfy the demanding standard for issuance of a stay.”

In response to today’s order, Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey stated:

After nearly two decades of this discriminatory policy and thousands of discharged American troops, it’s time to end this unjust policy once and for all. Today’s ruling is yet another strike against ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Nearly 80 percent of Americans say ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ should end. They know it’s wrong and nonsensical to discriminate against patriotic people willing to risk their lives by serving in the military. They know it’s unfair that qualified service members have been drummed out of the military because of bias. It is a mark of shame that this policy remains in place. Let’s do away with ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ now.

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