Log Cabin Republicans on DADT Repeal: Trust, But Verify
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans are pleased that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the Obama administration's latest attempt to indefinitely delay arguments in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States. Despite legislation enacted last month which removed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' from U.S. code, the military has emphasized that the policy remains in force and the Obama Department of Justice continues to defend the ban in court.
"Seventeen years ago, another Democratic president promised open service for gay and lesbian Americans in uniform. Instead, we got 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' This time, Log Cabin Republicans are remembering the lesson of trust, but verify when dealing with the promises of this president," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. "Log Cabin Republicans supported the Comprehensive Working Group study and have offered to assist the Department of Defense in the development of training to expedite the implementation process. However, the fact remains that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is still in force, with discharge panels continuing to meet. The constitutional rights of servicemembers are still being violated, and therefore it is necessary Log Cabin Republicans v. United States goes on."
"We are pleased by the Ninth Circuit Court's ruling denying the government's motion to stay its own appeal of a lower court decision declaring "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" unconstitutional," said Dan Woods, White and Case partner who is representing Log Cabin Republicans. "The government should not have appealed in the first place and has been trying ever since to delay any decision by the Ninth Circuit. Now, the Justice Department has to file its brief in the appeal in a few weeks and it will be very interesting to see how the government will try to argue, as it must, that DADT is constitutional. Log Cabin Republicans is willing to delay the appeal briefly while the government certifies the military is ready for DADT to be lifted but only if the government agrees not to discharge any more servicemembers under DADT. It was and is unfortunate and inexplicable that the government did not accept our proposal."
Log Cabin Republicans have maintained a three-front strategy against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' lobbying for repeal in Congress, consulting with the Department of Defense, and filing suit in federal court. The case went to trial in July of 2010, and Judge Virginia Phillips ruled on September 9, 2010 that the policy violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.