American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER), the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender national veterans service organization, in its 20th year, applauds the ruling yesterday by a California judge that the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy violates the US Constitution. US Federal District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled that the policy violates the 1st and 5th Amendment rights of gay and lesbian service members in a case brought by the Log Cabin Republicans, a national organization of LGBT members of the Republican Party.
“We were particularly pleased with the grounds on which Judge Phillips reached her decision”, said Danny Ingram, National President of AVER. “The judge noted in her decision that ‘it defies logic that the purposes of the Act could be served by suspending the investigation [of suspected LGBT service members] during overseas deployments, only to discharge a service member upon his or her return to a non-combat station’. AVER has been saying all along that the best proof that DADT hurts the military is offered by the military itself, which regularly ignores the policy and retains known LGBT soldiers in combat situations, to discharge them only when the unit rotates home again. If the military really believed that openly gay personnel ‘damaged unit cohesion and morale’ they would get them out of the unit immediately, but they don’t, because commanders on the ground know that the real damage to a modern military unit comes from losing a critical member of the team. DADT jeopardizes the mission. As proud veterans of the US military, AVER strongly supports the repeal of DADT, not only because repeal is the right thing to do, but because the policy damages the military and places the lives of service members in jeopardy by removing mission critical skills from the battlefield.”
American Veterans For Equal Rights (AVER) is the nation’s chapter-based all-volunteer veterans service organization for LGBT service members and veterans. AVER, PO Box 94376, Atlanta, GA 30377-0376
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