Log Cabin Republicans Legal Challenge Addressed in Senate 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Hearing
(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans v. United States was a frequent subject of discussion today as the Senate Armed Services Committee held hearings about the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.
"Today Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked of repeal, 'if not now, when?' Log Cabin Republicans' answer is 'if not now, then we'll see you in court,'" said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. "Of course, Log Cabin would prefer that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' end legislatively, and we are pleased that today Republican senators spoke up to question the value of this failed policy."
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), a long time opponent of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' stated that there was clear support for ending the policy from the military, "given the extensive feedback that the task force received from tens of thousands of service members in the forms of survey responses, emails, and town hall meetings, the report in fact does convey a sense of what service members think about repealing the law." Senator Collins further noted that throughout history, a time of war has been the impetus for change, rather than an excuse for delay.
"Log Cabin Republicans are proud to have such allies in Congress, and we will continue to work for Republican votes in favor of repeal. If the Senate does not follow the Department of Defense recommendation to pass repeal in the National Defense Authorization Act, Log Cabin Republicans will continue to pursue a judicial course of action to fight for the fundamental constitutional rights of all servicemembers. Our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less," said Cooper.
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.