by Chet Hardin
According to the Associated Press, a federal judge has ordered an injunction on "don't ask, don't tell," the most significant challenge to date to the military's 17-year-old anti-gay rights policy.
In ruling on a lawsuit brought by conservative, pro-gay rights organization the Log Cabin Republicans, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ruled the policy unconstitutional, stating that it "irreparably injures servicemembers by infringing their fundamental rights."
From the AP:
She said the policy violates due process rights, freedom of speech and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances guaranteed by the First Amendment.
"Furthermore, there is no adequate remedy at law to prevent the continued violation of servicemembers' rights or to compensate them for violation of their rights," Phillips said.
She said Department of Justice attorneys did not address these issues in their objection to her expected injunction.
Before issuing her order, Phillips had asked for input from Department of Justice attorneys and the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay rights group that filed the lawsuit in 2004 to stop the ban's enforcement.
The Log Cabin Republicans asked her for an immediate injunction so the policy can no longer be used against any U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world.
"The order represents a complete and total victory for the Log Cabin Republicans and reaffirms the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians in the military who are fighting and dying for our country," said Dan Woods, an attorney for the Log Cabin group.
The article continues to state that the Justice Department has 60 days to appeal the ruling.