As expected, the US Department of Justice has asked District Court Judge Virginia Phillips to grant an emergency stay of a judgment suspending the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.
Earlier this week, Phillips confirmed the unconstitutionality of the ban on gay and lesbian service members and ordered the policy be stopped immediately.
Should Phillips deny the request for a stay of her order the Department of Justice will file an emergency request to the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit.
The Obama administration appealed Phillips’ judgement because it wishes to end the ban through a legislative process in Congress and not through the courts. Critics point out, however, that this has little chance of happening this year as promised by President Obama.
“Anybody should be able to serve, and they shouldn’t have to lie about who they are in order to serve. But this isn’t a question about whether the policy will end. This policy will end, and it will end on my watch,” said Obama on Thursday.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said that the government’s appeal was “disappointing and frustrating”.
Robin McGehee, director of GETEqual commented: “Today’s appeal by President Obama’s Department of Justice is not only indefensible — it is yet another shocking lack of leadership from the White House on issues of equality for the LGBT community.”
“Yet again, we are faced with action by this Administration that stands in stark contrast to the campaign rhetoric and lofty speeches about equality that continue to be served up as progress to our community.”