Servicemembers Legal Defense
Network Files Constitutional Challenge to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a blight on the
conscience of our nation. It’s time to bring this shameful policy to an end.
Legal Defense Network, December 6, 2004
On Monday morning, SLDN filed an historic constitutional
challenge to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the U.S. District Court for
the District of Massachusetts. Twelve former lesbian and gay service
members—all veterans of the War on Terror—are seeking reinstatement in the
armed forces and an end to the military’s gay ban.
Today, SLDN is asking you to join those brave men and
women by taking a stand with them. Because your support, right now, can put
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on the road to repeal. With your help, SLDN
will demonstrate the constitutional bankruptcy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell” in federal court – where this shameful policy is most vulnerable to
In its 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme
Court took a clear and unmistakable view that government intrusion into
private intimate relationships violates the U.S. Constitution. The court
struck down state sodomy laws and found a “constitutional liberty interest
in sexual intimacy between consenting adults in private.”
SLDN believes that the Lawrence decision shatters the
military’s legal and moral rationale for denying lesbian, gay and bisexual
Americans the right to serve openly. The military’s gay ban also violated
the constitutionally protected rights to privacy, equal protection, due
process and free speech. So with the pro-bono services of the law firm of
Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr LLP, we filed a landmark lawsuit in
U.S. federal court on December 6 to force the military to lift the ban.
ATTENTION SERVICE MEMBERS: Under Article 31 of the
Uniform Code of Military Justice, you have the right to remain silent and to
consult with a defense attorney if you are investigated. Say nothing. Sign
nothing. Get legal help. Call SLDN at 202.328.FAIR (3247).
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