SF Court Given Until End of Day To Make Military Ruling

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Don't ask don't tell makes its way to a San Francisco court house.

    A court in San Francisco is now part of the an international military dispute involving gays in the military.

    The U.S. Justice Department has asked a federal appeals court in  San Francisco to grant an immediate stay of a lower court ruling that would  halt the government's "don't ask don't tell" policy on gays in the military.     

    The Justice Department filing asks the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of  Appeals to issue a stay by the end of Wednesday to block an injunction issued by  U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips of Riverside on Tuesday.

    Government attorneys wrote that while the Obama administration is  seeking to repeal the policy, it would be disruptive to end the policy  abruptly by allowing the injunction to go into effect.

    The injunction "risks causing significant immediate harm to the  military and its efforts to be prepared to implement an orderly repeal of the  statute," the attorneys wrote.    

    The Obama administration believes that repeal of the policy  "should not occur without needed deliberation, advance planning and  training," the lawyers said.

     Phillips ruled in a lawsuit filed in 2004 by Log Cabin  Republicans, a gay rights group.  

     The "don't ask don't tell" policy, established by the Clinton  administration in 1993, bars military officials from asking about service  members' sexual orientation, but requires the discharge of those who declare  themselves to be gay or engage in homosexual activity.

     Phillips ruled the policy violates service members' constitutional  privacy and free speech rights. Last night, she declined to stay her  injunction. The government is seeking a stay while it appeals her ruling.

    Bay City News