Supreme Court rejects request to lift military gay ban

Lieutenant Dan Choi, a gay Army officer honorably discharged under the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, speaks to the media after attempting to re-enlist at the Times Square military recruitment station in New York. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

The Supreme Court on Friday denied a request to lift the Pentagon’s ban that prevents openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. military, a decision that turns the focus on the issue to Congress when lawmakers return to work next week.

President Barack Obama has pledged to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which requires homosexual soldiers to keep their orientation secret, but has run into hurdles getting lawmakers to pass the legislation to end it.

At the same time, he has been battling a court fight in which the Log Cabin Republicans, a national gay and lesbian advocacy group, won a lower court ruling last month that barred the Pentagon from enforcing the policy.

Obama’s Justice Department appealed to give the military more time to prepare for admitting gay soldiers.

While the district court judge found that “don’t ask, don’t tell”, adopted in 1993, violated the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit put that decision on hold pending its review.

The Log Cabin Republicans then asked the Supreme Court to intervene and lift the appeals court stay, but the high court rejected the request without comment. Justice Elena Kagan, a former Obama administration lawyer, did not participate in the decision.

The Pentagon said it “believes the decision upholding the stay was appropriate.”

CHALLENGE REMAINS IN SENATE

That means attention will turn to Congress, where legislation to end the ban has cleared the House of Representatives but stalled in the Senate. Gay rights groups are pressuring Obama to lobby undecided senators when they come back to Washington next week.

“Log Cabin will continue working to secure the votes needed for legislative repeal, and if necessary, we look forward to seeing President Obama’s attorneys in court next year to prove, once again, that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ doesn’t work,” said the organization’s executive director Clarke Cooper.

Without action by Congress before the end of the year, it could become difficult for Obama to get lawmakers to repeal the policy in 2011 because Republicans, most of whom oppose lifting the ban, will control the House.

The Pentagon has already begun developing transition plans for accepting openly gay soldiers. Officials have advised gay service members to keep their sexual orientation secret while the court fight continues.

Military officials have warned that an abrupt change in policy could disrupt operations, troop morale and recruiting. However, a Pentagon study group reportedly has concluded that ending the policy would create only minimal risk to the current war effort.

The legal case will now proceed through the appeals court, based in San Francisco.

Copyright © 2010 Reuters Ltd.

Enhanced by Zemanta

2 Responses to "Supreme Court rejects request to lift military gay ban"

  1. b mcclellan  November 14, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Driving through or digging in 1970 shrapnel I’ve found, more is a soldiers bent to survive than his curiosity pertaining to foxhole partners,
    so called orientation.
    Personally, shoot the galloot before he aims and we’ll all go home.

  2. Sandune  November 14, 2010 at 10:12 am

    When will the American people finally realize that African Americans, Gays, Latinos are not acceptable to the Federal Government? Apparently, more voters listen to Limbaugh than any other commentator. He stirs up a false emotional reaction to the uneducated masses who get their news from Fox or their churches.

    The Federal government is tying our hands and brains on many of the fixes it needs to legislate. The unfair and unbalanced treaties that were written by the 1988 Neocons in the White House and then implemented by a Clinton Liberal White House and expanded by a Conservative Bush 43 White House.

    The Supreme Court should take a look at the actions done by all these Presidents and their weak-ass Congress and get down to the business of manufacturing again on American soil.

    Who gives an itshay if Olberman donated money to 3 candidates? It is a simple destraction of why we do not have jobs in America.

    Making the treaties fair and balanced is not an issue in the coming election of 2012 and it should be. The Tea Party is too stupid to recognize what has happened to our manufacturing and merchandizing. They want a clean out of undesirables in the voter base.

    Where is the voice for this balance based on treaty development?

    Homophobia is based on sex which is a normal part of the human life. It is a private problem and is used to redirect the voters off the true problems that both sides of the aisle caused. Apparently we will lose our capital and many wealthy Americans will invest off shore. I listen to many wealthy folks around me and they are considering a move where their kids and grandkids can find jobs.

    This is an internal mess brought into destruction by Presidents Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama. I have an insight to these men from reading their biographies. The hidden agenda of Bush 41 was to bring democracy into an area of the earth whose residents never got out of the rock age. In many of the books on the subject of this time, it was the Robertson/Falwell/Weyrich folks who introduced the concept of Christianity introduced the Middle East. Clinton played it cool and there was no more nation building. Bush 43 was selected and back to the Middle East he went with his crusade for Democracies in that area. Not even President Obama can recognize the imbalance in our treaties and just left Japan assuring them it will continue.

    Somebody wake me when the truth of our economic disaster is under discussion for correction.

    Sandy

Comments are closed.