The US Supreme Court has refused to review the military’s “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy after Army Capt. James Pietrangelo II appealed his dismissal under the policy. An earlier lawsuit he filed at the Boston federal appeals court was also thrown out.
The policy, which was put in place after President Bill Clinton tried to lift the ban on gay service members in 1993, refers to the US military’s practice of not asking recruits their sexual orientation. In turn, service members are banned from saying they are gay or bisexual, engaging in homosexual activity or trying to marry a member of the same sex.
Pietrangelo asked the Court to rule that the gay ban was unconstitutional, but Obama’s administration requested the court to reject his challenge.
“I think this decision is an absolute travesty of justice and I think every judge on this court should be ashamed of themselves,” said Pietrangelo, who served six years in the Army, seven years in the Vermont National Guard and fought in Iraq in 1991.
“It’s nothing short of rubber stamping legalised discrimination, the same way Nazi Germany legalised discrimination against Jews. The Supreme Court is not infallible, they get things wrong, and they got it wrong this time.”
First Lieutenant Daniel Choi of the New York Army National Guard, an Arabic linguist who graduated from West Point, is another high profile casualty of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He will soon go before a Board of Inquiry to fight the US military’s efforts to discharge him because of his sexuality.
“The time to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is now. The Supreme Court’s denial of a writ of certiorari in this case, and the upcoming hearing to discharge Lt. Dan Choi, is only further proof that this law is not working and is putting our national security at unnecessary risk,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
Despite Barack Obama’s election campaign promise to repeal Don’t ask, Don’t tell, there has been no movement towards ending the ban.