White House Calls on Court to Keep 'Don't Ask'

Military-wide injunction 'untenable,' government argues
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2010 1:40 AM CDT
Updated Sep 24, 2010 7:00 AM CDT
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stressed that the government is still committed to ending the policy.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – The Obama administration says it's still committed to repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gay service members, but it doesn't want a judge to immediately halt the program. A federal judge in California declared the policy unconstitutional earlier this month, and the Justice Department has filed an objection to a proposed military-wide injunction banning the discharge of gays, saying such a move would be "untenable," CNN reports. Sudden termination of the 17-year-old policy may pose a threat to the military, lawyers argued in the court filing, "particularly at a time when the military is engaged in combat operations and other demanding military activities around the globe."

The Justice Department urged the California judge to wait until a Pentagon study on integrating gay service members had been completed, and is arguing the policy termination should only apply to the plaintiff, gay political group the Log Cabin Republicans, and members in the military it claims are gay or lesbian. "We are extremely disappointed with the Obama administration," said the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans. "Many times on the campaign trail, President Obama said he would support the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Now that it's time to step up to the plate, he isn't even in the ballpark."

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