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Supreme Court will not hear appeal "Dont' Ask, Don't Tell"

Friday, June 12th, 2009

An important ruling was made on Monday by the Supreme Court.

From Gary Wright II: This probably won't directly affect my legal case against the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. My case is currently on the docket of the Board of Naval Records Correction and awaiting their decision. The BNRC does not have the power to repeal the law, but they have authority to "correct an injustice." I expect the decision I receive from the BNRC to be favorable. If not, my case will go into federal court. Similar cases to mine got favorable verdicts in federal court. If I am denied in federal court, I will appeal to the United States Supreme Court (if they will listen).

The full story is at MSNBC

Here is an excerpt of the article from MSNBC:

June 8: The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from a former Army captain who was dismissed under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The federal appeals court in Boston earlier threw out a lawsuit filed by Pietrangelo and 11 other veterans. In court papers, the administration said the appeals court ruled correctly in this case when it found that "don't ask, don't tell" is "rationally related to the government's legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion."

"We don't see that at all as bad news for repeal," said Kevin Nix, spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. "What happened today puts the ball back into the court of Congress and the White House to repeal the law, and that's where we think it should be right now."

Nix said there are no objective studies showing unit cohesion, morale and order are harmed by openly gay people.

"There are people out there and still serving, and the unit is not crumbling beneath their feet," he said, adding that attitudes among troops and society are far different than they were in the 1990s when the policy was instituted.

"Times have changed ... fast forward 16 years," Nix said. "The service members in Iraq and Afghanistan ? their attitudes toward gay people are very different than some retired generals in their 50s and 60s who served in the 20th Century. It's a different world."

Opposition to gay marriages, for example, has eased nationwide and six states have legalized same-sex unions. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Iowa allow gay marriage, though opponents hope to overturn Maine's law with a public vote.

California briefly allowed gay marriage before a public vote banned it; a court ruling grandfathered in couples who were already married.

Polls show younger Americans are far are more tolerant of gay marriage than are older generations.

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy was established in 1993. President Bill Clinton had to abandon efforts to allow gays to serve openly in the armed forces after facing strong resistance from the military and members of Congress.

Obama's campaign pledge: President Barack Obama pledged to overturn the policy, but he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January.

Meanwhile, the White House has said it will not stop gays and lesbians from being dismissed from the military.

source: MSNBC

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