Last edited: February 08, 2005

Administration Wants Gay Military Suit Tossed, February 7, 2005

By Paul Johnson, Washington Bureau Chief

Washington—The White House asked a federal court Monday to dismiss a lawsuit challenging “don’t ask, don’t tell”.

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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