Log Cabin Republicans petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to revive the legal battle over "don't ask, don't tell" after federal appeals court allowed the ban to stay in place indefinitely.
On Friday, attorneys for the Log Cabin Republicans filed an appeal in hopes of finally overthrowing the ban on openly homosexual troops serving in the military. The gay and lesbian group had expressed opposition to last week’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to indefinitely uphold the 1993 law.
In a Nov. 1 statement, Log Cabin Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper said, “Log Cabin Republicans is disappointed that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell will continue to burden our armed forces, undermine national security and limit the freedom of our men and women in uniform. “
Cooper also urged President Barack Obama “use his statutory stop-loss power to halt discharges under this discriminatory and wasteful policy.”
The Obama administration has fought to uphold DADT against U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips’ Oct. 12 injunction in federal court, gaining first a temporary stay until November and later securing an indefinite stay.
The president, however, has made it clear that he wants Congress to repeal the law. A defense authorization with provisions that would put an end to DADT has already has passed the U.S. Senate. Obama wants to pass the bill in the House during the lame duck session before the GOP takes it over in 2011.
Sen. John McCain (R- Ariz.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, has promised to filibuster any attempt to pass a repeal prior to the Department of Defense’s Dec. 1 military readiness report.
The report will inform the president and Congress how soldiers are likely to adapt to a possible repeal. Report leaks seem to suggest that soldiers have little to no concerns about out gays joining their ranks.
However, military officials and conservative leaders are vehemently against the law’s abolishment. Gen. James Amos, U.S. Marines Corps commandant, has asserted that repeal efforts are risky. “This is not a social thing,” he told reporters. “This is combat effectiveness.”
Center for Military Readiness Executive Director Elaine Donnelly also contended that sexuality does matter when soldiers are in “such a close atmosphere.
“Military people deploy for many months at a time, far from home. They do not get to choose who they live with,” she pointed out.
Christian leaders have also warned that chaplains and soldiers of faiths may be penalized for upholding their beliefs. “Any kind of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal puts the religious liberties of chaplains at risk,” said Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst of Christian policy group Citizen Link.
The Log Cabin Republicans first began its legal fight against DADT in 2004, directly challenging the constitutionality of the policy. The measure was ruled unconstitutional in September and an injunction was issued, halting DADT’s enforcement. The injunction was reversed last month in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
It is unclear when the Supreme Court will respond to the group’s petition.