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Court Orders Immediate Halt to Gay Military Ban

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - July 6, 2011 - A federal appeals court ordered the U.S. government on Wednesday to immediately cease enforcing the ban on openly gay members of the military, a move that could speed the end of the 17-year-old rule.

Congress repealed the policy in December and the Pentagon is already preparing to welcome gay military personnel, said the ruling from a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. There's no longer any purpose for a stay the appeals court had placed on a lower court ruling that overturned "don't ask, don't tell," the judges said.

In the meantime, the court order blocks the military from discharging anyone based on sexual orientation, a Pentagon spokesman said, news that brought relief from gay rights advocates who say there are still dozens of gay or lesbian personnel under investigation. Read the rest of the article Here

Don't ask, Don't tell, Don't pursue, Don't harass

December 19, 2010

This afternoon, we watched with enormous pride as the U.S. Senate passed the stand-alone bill to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," passed by the House earlier this week. After more than 17 years of lobbying, this is a defining moment in the fight for repeal.

Gay, lesbian and bisexual service members posted around the world are standing a little taller today, but theyŐre still very much at risk because repeal is not final. Today, I respectfully asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to use his authority to suspend all ÔDonŐt Ask, DonŐt TellŐ investigations during this interim period.

Until the President signs the bill, until there is certification, and until the 60-day Congressional period is over, no one should be investigated or discharged under this discriminatory law. Even with this historic vote, service members must continue to serve in silence until repeal is final.

We owe a great deal of thanks to many Congressional leaders who got us here today -- Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI), Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and so many others.

This is the defining civil rights initiative of this decade and todayŐs bill passage would not have been possible without Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidŐs (D-NV) determined leadership. And finally, without commitment and a clear plan from the White House for the PentagonŐs Comprehensive Review Working Group, we would not stand here today.

Thanks (PFLAG) to your commitment -- your phone calls, letters, visits, and more -- we have achieved another major step toward repeal today. This fight has been a bumpy one, full of ups and downs, highs and lows. But every step of the way your tireless support has brought us this far.

Thank you.
Aubrey Sarvis

More information at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

September 22, 2001

Contrary to recent headlines, neither President Bush nor Pentagon leaders have repealed or suspended "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue, Don't Harass."

What HAS happened is this: President Bush issued Executive Order 13223 on September 14, 2001 authorizing, but not ordering, the Secretary of Defense to consider issuing a stop-loss order. The Secretary of Defense has, in turn, authorized the Service Secretaries to consider issuing a stop-loss order in each Service. The Service Secretaries will make that decision in the next two to four weeks. A stop-loss order may or may not include suspension of gay discharges.

C. Dixon Osburn, Executive Director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), stated that "service members should continue to operate with the understanding that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' remains in effect. The gay ban has not been lifted."

Service members who want more information on how any mobilization may impact them should contact (SLDN) Servicemembers Legal Defense Network at (202) 328-FAIR (3247).

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.

Contact SLDN