DADT Repeal is Signed into Law, Log Cabin Republicans Vow to Continue Lawsuit Until Open Service is Reality
(Washington, DC) – After passing with strong bipartisan support in the House and Senate, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal legislation was signed into law this morning by President Obama. Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper was in attendance at the signing, along with attorney Dan Woods of White and Case and several Log Cabin Republicans members.
"It was an honor to witness the culmination of decades of work by servicemembers, their friends and allies in the fight for open service," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper and an out combat veteran and officer in the United States Army Reserve. "Log Cabin Republicans are proud to have played our part in removing this shameful policy from the books. 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal enjoyed an unprecedented level of Republican support for legislation protecting the freedoms of gay and lesbian Americans, and we look forward to building upon this progress in the future. However, as long as servicemembers still face the threat of discharge, Log Cabin Republicans will continue our fight in court to protect the fundamental constitutional rights of our men and women in uniform. President Obama today promised that implementation would move 'swiftly,' and Log Cabin plans to hold him to that promise.
"As implementation goes forward, as a Captain in the Army Reserve I am encouraged by the words of General Casey and Secretary McHugh of the Army, who released a statement regarding repeal directing soldiers to 'stay focused on your mission. Continue to treat your fellow Soldiers with dignity and respect, and maintain the standards of conduct and discipline that have made us who we are today – the best Army in the world.'"
"This is a shining day in American history, and the importance of this legislation should not be understated," said Dan Woods, White and Case partner who is representing Log Cabin Republicans in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America. "Unfortunately, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' remains in force at this time and will continue to harm gay and lesbian servicemembers until sixty days after certification by the President, Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As there is no set timeline for certification and the government remains legally able to discharge servicemembers for their sexual orientation, our case is alive and kicking until the promise signed today becomes a reality."
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.