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U.S. Opposes Proposed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Ban in Military

Former service members Stacy Vasquez, left, of Texas, Anthony Woods, of Virginia, and David Hall, of Washington, DC, speak with with a senator before a March news conference in Washington, D.C. about the US military's don't ask don't tell policy for gays and lesbians serving in the military. Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
Former service members Stacy Vasquez, left, of Texas, Anthony Woods, of Virginia, and David Hall, of Washington, DC, speak with with a senator before a March news conference in Washington, D.C. about the US military's don't ask don't tell policy for gays and lesbians serving in the military. Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- A proposed court order that would block the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should apply only to members of the group that challenged the constitutionality of the law, the Department of Defense said.

The government opposes the proposal by the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that promotes equal rights for gays and lesbians, which seeks a “worldwide, military-wide injunction” of the 1993 law allowing gays and lesbians to serve in the armed forces as long as they don’t reveal their sexual orientation, according to a federal court filing in Riverside, California.

U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips in Riverside ruled Sept. 10 that the law violates constitutionally protected due process and free speech rights. The judge ruled the Log Cabin Republicans are entitled to the injunction, and told the group to submit a proposed order barring further enforcement of the act.

The Log Cabin Republicans on Sept. 16 submitted a proposed order blocking the defense department from enforcing or applying ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’

The order would stop the military from taking actions against gay or lesbian service members that “influences their military status, advancement, evaluation, duty assignment, duty location, promotion, enlistment or reenlistment based upon their sexual orientation,” according to the Sept. 16 filing.

The defense department argues that any proposed order must be limited to the members of the Log Cabin Republicans, and not applied to the U.S. military worldwide.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in an e-mailed statement yesterday that the Defense Department filing “in no way diminishes” President Barack Obama’s commitment to achieve a legislative repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ He said the defense department “continues to work on a plan on how to implement repeal.”

The case is Log Cabin Republicans v. U.S., 04-8425, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Riverside).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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