The Center for American Progress applauds U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips’ decision that the U.S. military’s 17-year-old ban on allowing openly gay service members is not only unconstitutional but, more importantly, undermines military readiness, a fact we demonstrated in our report, “Ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”
We also applaud her decision to pursue an injunction to stop the military from undermining our efforts to fight two wars by discharging highly qualified openly gay service members. We urge the Obama administration not to appeal the ruling, especially since it was unable to put on an affirmative case before Judge Phillips. We also strongly urge the Senate to join the House in voting to repeal this outmoded law in the coming weeks.
As we noted in “Ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” the uniformed military and many members of Congress have resisted other social changes, like the integration of African Americans and dropping the ban on women in combat, that ultimately made our armed forces stronger and more capable. We are confident that Judge Phillips’ ruling will likewise improve the quality of those joining and remaining in the military. And it will bring our policies in line with those of our closest allies, including the British, the Canadians, the Australians, and the Israelis.
Finally, we salute the Log Cabin Republicans for bringing this case and the firm of White & Case for working on it on a pro bono basis. We are honored that CAP Senior Fellow Lawrence J. Korb was able to serve as an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the case.
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