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Federal judge to military: Stop enforcing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' antigay policy

A federal judge has just ordered the U.S. military to stop enforcing its "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring gays, lesbians from serving openly.

From Servicemembers United:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans, proudly hailed today's announcement of an injunction from U.S.  District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips barring enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and ordering the Department of Defense to halt investigations and discharges pursuant to the law.

"This order from Judge Phillips is another historic and courageous step in the right direction, a step that Congress has been noticeably slow in taking," said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans. "While this is certainly news to be celebrated, we would also advise caution in advance of a potential stay from the Ninth Circuit. If the appellate court wishes to put itself on the right side of history, however, it will allow this sound and long-over due decision to remain in effect."

The case that won the injunction, Log Cabin Republicans vs. United States of America, was originally filed in 2004. Just last month, and after a two-week trial in July, Judge Phillips issued her final ruling in the case, finding that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law was unconstitutional on first and fifth amendment grounds. She also indicated her intent to issue an injunction barring further discharges in light of that finding. A copy of the injunction can be found at www.ServicemembersUnited.org/injunction.

For more information about Servicemembers United and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," please visit www.ServicemembersUnited.org.

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Servicemembers United, a non-profit and non-partisan organization, is the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans and their allies. Based in Washington, DC, Servicemembers United actively engages in education and advocacy on issues affecting the gay military, veteran, and defense community.

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