The Log Cabin Republicans, the LGBT advocacy group who brought a victorious lawsuit against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” on Monday filed papers with a federal court challenging the decision by a panel of its judges to lift an injunction on the anti-gay military policy.
The ban on DADT was ordered after U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips, who presided over the Log Cabin Republicans’ case, found the military’s exclusion of openly gay service members unconstitutional. Enforcement of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was halted for eight days as a result, only to be temporarily reinstated when three judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit granted an emergency stay on Phillips’ ruling per a request by the Justice Department, who claimed an immediate block on the enforcement of DADT could threaten military operations.
In their arguments opposing the stay on the DADT injunction, the Log Cabin Republicans pointed out the disparity between the Obama administration’s stated opposition to the discriminatory policy and the government’s controversial and continued legal defense of the ban.
“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. “This is just another in a long line of delay tactics from a President who has not missed an opportunity to defend this policy in court. As was articulated last week by former United States Solicitor General Ted Olson, the Department of Justice is not obligated to appeal this ruling.”
Four additional LGBT advocacy groups—Servicemembers United, Lambda Legal, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Palm Center—on Monday filed amicus briefs supporting the Log Cabin Republicans, noting in particular a possible connection between DADT’s ongoing enforcement and the epidemic of suicides among LGBT youth.
“It is absurd to pretend that the staggering rates of suicide among gay and lesbian teens that have been recently reported magically sprang into existence, without any connection to what adults are saying and doing,” said Peter Renn, a lawyer for Lambda Legal.
Meanwhile, Tuesday morning, the Advocate reported on its Web site that an anonymous senior White House official told the LGBT news magazine that, “The White House is meeting with several [pro-repeal groups] to discuss the legislative repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ The meeting will concern the work that remains to be done to ensure Congressional action on this issue this year.”