A federal judge in Riverside on Thursday declared the U.S. military’s ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional, saying the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy violates the 1st Amendment and due process rights of lesbians and gay men.
U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips said the policy does not preserve military readiness, contrary to what Justice Department attorneys and many supporters have argued, because evidence shows that the policy in fact has had a “direct and deleterious effect” on the armed services.
Phillips said she would issue an injunction barring the government from enforcing the policy. However, the Justice Department, which defended “don’t ask, don’t tell” during a two-week trial in Riverside, will have an opportunity to appeal that decision.
COLO. WILDFIRES DESTROY HOMES