Just hours ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals passed down a decision barring enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), reinstating Judge Virginia Phillips's injunction from October 2010. According to the order, DADT cannot be enforced unless the federal government appeals and is granted a stay of the order from either the Ninth Circuit or the Supreme Court.
SLDN welcomes this positive step forward, and we encourage the Defense Department not to seek an appeal of the ruling. But all of this confusion over the enforcement of DADT could have been ended months ago -- with certification, in the process laid out in the repeal legislation passed last year.
Make no mistake: DADT is still the law of the land, as long as certification and the subsequent 60-day period have not taken place. If the government appeals this ruling and is successful, service members could be discharged once again. We have urged DoD not to appeal and to get on with certification within days, not weeks. Only with certification and subsequent repeal of the DADT statute will we see a solid, final end to this discriminatory policy.
SLDN applauds our allies at the Log Cabin Republicans for their work on this case, and we will continue to work with allied organizations as we remain on guard for attacks on LGBT equality in the military. Read our blog post from this morning about new threats in the House, and learn how you can get involved in this ongoing fight.
Every day, we march closer and closer toward certification and repeal. Thank you for your persistence, your dedication, and your ongoing support.
Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director