Supreme Court lets ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy remain in place

The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Friday to pause enforcement of the military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian service members while that policy faces a legal challenge.

The high court sided against the Log Cabin Republicans, a GOP gay rights group, that had asked that discharges of gay and lesbian members of the armed forces under the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy be suspended.

The Obama administration had argued that the ban should be allowed to stay in place while litigation continues. A federal court had struck down the policy as unconstitutional, and ordered that discharges made under the policy end immediately.

A federal appeals court had reversed that lower court, though, and allowed the current policy to remain in place, prompting the appeal that resulted in today’s Supreme Court ruling.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said that the decision underscored the need for congressional action.

“While this is a disappointing decision, it demonstrates the need for Congress to take action now,” she said in a statement. “The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy undermines our national security, the integrity of our armed services, and the moral foundation upon which this country was founded. We must put our national security first and repeal this corrosive policy now.”

Updated 3:08 p.m.

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