Judge Virginia Phillips, who had held that the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy of the military violated the US Constitution today issue a remedy of that violation: she issued a worldwide injunction
against the policy, prohibiting its enforcement. The gay rights community and gay and lesbian veterans and armed forces members welcomed the news with open arms.
"This order from Judge Phillips is another historic and courageous step in the right direction, a step that Congress has been noticeably slow in taking," said Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans.
In the ruling
, the court:
(2) PERMANENTLY ENJOINS Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense, their agents, servants, officers, employees, and attorneys, and all persons acting in participation or concert with them or under their direction or command, from enforcing or applying the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Act and implementing regulations, against any person under their jurisdiction or command;
(3) ORDERS Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Act, or pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 654 or its implementing regulations, on or prior to the date of this Judgment.
The Justice Department is reviewing the ruling, and has 60 days to appeal. They are, however, under no obligation of law to do so. Many members of Congress have joined a courageous effort, asking the administration in a letter
not to appeal this ruling, and to let the injunction stand. If the administration follows their good advice and refrains from appealing the decision of Judge Phillips, DADT dies a quiet death, and we get to join the ranks of the countries that allow gay and lesbian patriots to serve their country proudly and honorably: countries that are our allies like Canada, UK, France, Germany, and so on, especially when an inclusive armed forces are increasing productivity
. It's about time that we rise above bigotry and thank all those who serve our country, regardless of who they fall in love with.