Administration Wants Gay
Military Suit Tossed
February 7, 2005
By Paul Johnson, 365Gay.com Washington Bureau Chief
Washington—The White House asked
a federal court Monday to dismiss a lawsuit challenging “don’t ask,
Twelve lesbian and gay veterans are suing in Federal
Court in Boston seeking reinstatement in the Armed Forces.
All 12 had been discharged under the military’s
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gays in the military. Each served
during the current war on terror.
Their lawsuit depends on the landmark Supreme Court
sodomy ruling that said gays are entitled to equal protection under the law.
The suit asserts that “‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
punishes gay, lesbian and bisexual service members . . . for their sexual
orientation and for their private, constitutionally protected conduct. As a
result, it has denied and continues to deny them several Constitutional
rights, including the right of privacy, equal protection of the law, and
freedom of speech.”
Administration lawyers in a brief filed Monday with the
court argue that the sodomy ruling has no bearing on the case because the 12
could abstain from sexual activity and not reveal their sexuality.
Courts previously have upheld the policy, approved by
Congress and put in place by the Clinton administration.
“These decisions are unaffected by the Supreme
Court’s decision,” the administration said in a filing in U.S. District
Court in Boston, where the lawsuit was filed.
Two other lawsuits challenging the policy have been filed
since the high court’s reversal.
One was brought in California by the Log Cabin
Republicans, a political organization for gays. The other was filed in the
U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which generally deals with cases involving
money. That plaintiff, who was separated from the Army, is seeking to recover
his pension and is challenging the ban in the process.
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