Federal Judges, Gay, Military / Military Law

‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Held Unconstitutional

This year has been a big one for LGBT rights litigation. There was Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, striking down Proposition 8’s ban on gay marriage in California. There were the Massachusetts decisions by Judge Joseph Tauro, holding unconstitutional section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). And in a decision handed down late tonight, Judge Virginia A. Phillips (C.D. Cal.) ruled that the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy violates the constitution.

You can read the 86-page ruling here. It has what has to be one of the best case captions in recent memory: Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America.

Congratulations to the Log Cabin Republicans on their victory. Maybe the resulting goodwill in the gay community will allow you guys to get dates? At least for this weekend.

UPDATE: A gay veteran’s (critical) take on the opinion, plus links to the opinion and additional news coverage, after the jump.

One gay veteran was not impressed by Judge Phillips’s work product:

As a gay veteran, I’m thrilled that DADT has been struck down, but it’s not a great opinion. If the DOJ appeals, it will be easy to reverse. First Amendment? This is a profession whose members are forbidden from publicly criticizing their elected officials. Likewise the substantive due process argument seems largely based on anecdotal evidence.

Chris Geidner breaks the opinion down over at Metro Weekly.

Judge Rejects Military Policy Toward Gays [New York Times]
Judge: Military’s ban on gays is unconstitutional [Associated Press]
Log Cabin Republicans v. United States [U.S. District Court for the Central District of California]

Earlier: Air Force Colonel Sues To Block His Discharge Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

(hidden for your protection)

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