Pentagon Orders Recruiters To Accept Openly Gay And Lesbian Applicants

October 19, 2010 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – According to news reports, the Pentagon has ordered military recruiters to accept openly gay and lesbian applicants. The Pentagon’s directive comes after a ruling issued by Judge Virginia Phillips of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California last month that ordered a world-wide end to the unconstitutional and discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the military. Though the Department of Justice has filed a notice of appeal and is seeking a stay of the court decision, it is complying with the order and is at least temporarily not enforcing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Last week, before the notice of appeal was filed, the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him not to appeal the order.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:

“Opening up our military to openly gay and lesbian Americans is the right thing to do and is long overdue. But, as long as the court order remains vulnerable to appeal, this unconstitutional policy still has life in it and the potential to discriminate against gay and lesbian service members.

“It is time for President Obama to lead by putting a decisive end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ and he should seize this opportunity by making clear that he will not take any further steps to try to reinstate this discriminatory policy. The president recently said he cannot end this policy with the stroke of a pen, but the Obama administration can set this right if the attorney general simply refrains from pursuing the appeal of the judicial order banning the policy. Our men and women in uniform deserve to serve their country with dignity, and the time to act is now.”

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