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11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 10/12/2004 4:03:44 PM EST
October 12, 2004

Republican gay advocates challenge ‘don’t ask’

By Genaro C. Armas
Associated Press

A pro-gay Republican group plans to file a lawsuit asking a federal court to overturn the U.S. government’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy covering gays in the military. Log Cabin Republican leaders said the suit would be filed Tuesday in federal district court in Los Angeles.

The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, put into place in 1993 during the Clinton administration, allows gays and lesbians to serve so long as they do not disclose their sexual orientation and do not engage in homosexual acts.

Log Cabin members serving in the military asked the group’s leaders over the last four months to take legal action, the group’s attorney, Marty Meekins, said Tuesday. They did not come forward because of a specific incident, but simply because “of fear of the military finding out their sexual orientation if they are gay and lesbian,” Meekins said.

“This case is fundamentally about correcting a misguided governmental policy based on prejudice toward gay and lesbian Americans,” he added.

While it’s not the first challenge of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, Log Cabin officials say they are encouraged by a historic Supreme Court decision in 2003 that struck down a Texas law that made homosexual sex a crime.

The court, in the ruling, said that what gay men and women do in the privacy of their bedrooms is their business and not the domain of government.

In response to the Log Cabin suit, Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke said in a statement that the military implemented “don’t ask, don’t tell” because of a federal law that “would need to be changed to affect the department’s policy.”

Meekins denied there were political motivations behind the announcement, which came a day before a debate over domestic issues between President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry, and three weeks before the presidential election.

The Pentagon under Bush has maintained the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, while Kerry has said he would let gays serve openly in the military.

Log Cabin backed Bush in 2000, but has withheld an endorsement this year, saying the president was disloyal to the 1 million gays and lesbians who voted for him four years ago for supporting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

The lawsuit against the government and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would have been filed sooner had the group and its lawyers been prepared, Meekins said.

“The decision to file the lawsuit doesn’t have anything to do with any election,” added Log Cabin political director Christopher Barron. “We are a nation fighting a war on terror and we need a policy that protects our national security.”

A report earlier this year from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network found that 787 gays and lesbians were dismissed from the military over “don’t ask, don’t tell” in 2003, down 39 percent from 2001. The advocacy group said the decline was due mainly to U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The military has discharged nearly 10,000 people for violations of the policy since it first took effect, according to that report.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004 · Last updated 2:11 p.m. PT

Pro-gay Republican group to file suit

By GENARO C. ARMAS
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

WASHINGTON -- A Republican homosexual rights group filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to overturn the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military.

The policy, put into place in 1993 during the Clinton administration, allows gays and lesbians to serve so long as they do not disclose their sexual orientation nor engage in homosexual acts.

The Log Cabin Republicans sued in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles asking for an injunction that would prevent the Pentagon from enforcing the policy. The suit names the United States and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld as defendants.

Log Cabin members serving in the military asked the group's leaders over the last four months to take legal action, said Marty Meekins, one of the group's attorneys. They did not come forward because of a specific incident but out of "fear of the military finding out their sexual orientation if they are gay and lesbian," said Meekins, who is based in Los Angeles.

The suit says the policy violates a soldier's constitutional right to due process, freedom of speech and equal protection.



Log Cabin officials say they are encouraged by the Supreme Court's 2003 decision to strike down a Texas law that made homosexual sex a crime.

In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the nation's highest military court, ruled in the case of a former Air Force sergeant from Nebraska that the military's ban on sodomy was constitutional in certain circumstances. That court did not give a direct answer to the broader question of whether protections offered in the Supreme Court ruling also cover military personnel.

In response to the Log Cabin suit, Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke said the military implemented "don't ask, don't tell" because it was mandated by federal law. The 1993 law "would need to be changed to affect the department's policy."

Meekins denied that political motivations were behind the announcement, which came a day before a debate over domestic issues between President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry and three weeks before the presidential election.

"The decision to file the lawsuit doesn't have anything to do with any election," Log Cabin political director Christopher Barron said. "We are a nation fighting a war on terror, and we need a policy that protects our national security."

The Log Cabin Republicans backed Bush in 2000 but withheld an endorsement this year because of the president's support for amending the Constitution to ban gay marriage in the United States.



Log Cabin Republicans Sue To Overturn 'Don't Ask - Don't Tell'
by Doreen Brandt
365Gay.com Newscenter
Washington Bureau

Posted: October 12, 2004 1:27 pm ET

(Washington) Log Cabin Republicans already at odds with their party over a series of GOP anti-gay measures today filed a federal lawsuit challenging the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Lawyers for the group filed the suit in the United States Federal District Court for the Central District of California. Log Cabin, in a statement, said the suit was filed on behalf of its gay and lesbian members currently serving in the United States Armed Forces.

“Public opinion, the experience of our allies, and the national security interests of our nation all lead to the inescapable conclusion that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly and honestly in our military,” said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Patrick Guerriero.

“A lawsuit should not be necessary, when public opinion overwhelmingly favors gays and lesbians serving openly and honestly," Guerriero said.

"A lawsuit should not be necessary when the experience of our allies in the war on terror, including Great Britain, Israel and Australia, all allow gays and lesbians to serve openly and honestly. A lawsuit should not be necessary when our military has lost thousands of needed military personnel under this policy. However, under these circumstances, where we are a nation at war fighting a global war against terrorism, we can no longer sit by and wait for our elected officials to find the political courage to do the right thing,” said Guerriero.

The suit asserts that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy imposes a discriminatory set of rules on gay and lesbian members of the Armed Forces in violation of their constitutional rights of due process, freedom of speech, and equal protection. The challenge requests a declaration that the policy is unconstitutional, and a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining the government from enforcing the policy.

Log Cabin members serving in the military asked the group's leaders over the last four months to take legal action, the group's attorney, Marty Meekins, said Tuesday. They did not come forward because of a specific incident, but simply because "of fear of the military finding out their sexual orientation if they are gay and lesbian," Meekins said.

"This case is fundamentally about correcting a misguided governmental policy based on prejudice toward gay and lesbian Americans," he added

Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke said in a statement that the military implemented "don't ask, don't tell" because of a federal law that "would need to be changed to affect the department's policy."

Guerriero denied that the suit was politically motivated. LCR refused to endorse the reelection of President Bush over his support for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. (story) The GOP platform also supports the amendment.

Earlier this month the group chastised the party over a series of campaign ads highly critical of gays.


http://www.airforcetimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-448678.php

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apwashington_story.asp?category=1152&slug=Gays%20Military%20Lawsuit

http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/10/101204logAsk.htm
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 4:05:37 PM EST
I can't wait until one of these degenerates decides he/she/it wants to cross-dress in uniform...
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