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Gay activists look to the courts to end 'don't ask, don't tell'

By Ed O'Keefe

Gay activists are turning their attention to two federal courtrooms on the West Coast despite the failure of efforts in the Senate this week to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," The Eye reports in Thursday's Post:

In a case brought in California by the pro-gay Log Cabin Republicans, U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled Sept. 10 that the law, which bans gays from serving openly in the military, violates due process and First Amendment rights and has a "direct and deleterious" effect on the armed forces. She gave the federal government until Thursday to appeal.
Advocates for ending the 17-year ban are calling on the Obama administration to forgo an appeal of the ruling. Tracy Schmaler, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment Wednesday on whether the government will do so.
Gay rights groups said the government has no obligation to appeal. Diane H. Mazur, legal co-director of the Palm Center, a think tank at the University of California at Santa Barbara that is devoted to repealing "don't ask, don't tell," cited a 2003 Supreme Court decision that struck down a Texas sodomy law because it restricted a person's right to sexual privacy.

Continue reading this story >>>

By Ed O'Keefe  | September 22, 2010; 9:19 PM ET
Categories:  Military  
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