Posts tagged Equal
Posts tagged Equal
A federal appeals court ordered a halt today to the armed forces’ discharge of openly gay service members, citing the Obama administration’s disavowal of laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco had intervened in November to allow the government to continue enforcing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, despite a federal judge’s decision that the law was unconstitutional. Today, however, a three-judge panel of the court lifted the stay, saying, “The circumstances and balance of hardships have changed.”
The court noted that Congress has voted to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” as soon as President Obama and the Pentagon certify that the change will not interfere with military readiness or recruiting. The administration has said most troops should be trained for the new policy change by mid-summer, although it had told the court the law should probably stay in effect for the rest of the year.
The panel also cited Obama’s decision in February to withdraw support from another federal law denying benefits to married same-sex couples, and his newly announced view that laws discriminating against gays and lesbians should be declared unconstitutional unless they serve some compelling government need.
So effective today, the military must stop discharging service members under this policy - which was still happening. Unfortunately, the Obama administration is appealing, arguing the decision should be made by Congress. Not thrilled about that, but happy the courts intervened to at least stop people from being discharged under a policy that’s being phased out.
Grab a tissue. GetEqual highlights just a few of the couples celebrating a second-class Valentine’s Day this year.
Lt. Dan Choi re-enlisted in the Army today after the DADT stay was denied. Hooray!