Log Cabin & Lambda Legal File Briefs to Reinstate DADT Injunction

Lambda Legal and the Log Cabin Republicans have filed breifs 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" policy.

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.  

"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," Lambda Legal said in a released statement.

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. "As was articulated last week by former United States Solicitor General Ted Olson, the Department of Justice is not obligated to appeal this ruling.”

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," said Lambda LegalDuring the brief period the injunction was in place, 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, according to Log Cabin.

"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."

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