Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Mark
Udall and Congressman Mike Quigley are cheering a federal judge's
ruling overturning DADT.
U.S. District Judge Virginia A.
Thursday that the Pentagon's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy
violated the U.S. Constitution. The policy has a “direct and
deleterious effect” on the armed services, she ruled.
The 1993 policy bans gay troops from
serving openly. Over 13,000 gay and lesbian service members have
been discharged under the policy.
President Obama says he supports repeal
of the Clinton-era law, but administration lawyers defended the
policy at the two-week trial in California.
Both senators are strong advocates of
repeal. Last year, New York Senator Gillibrand considered backing a
Senate amendment that would pause military discharges based on sexual
orientation for 18 months. After shopping around the measure for a
week, she concluded it was a non-starter.
As news of the ruling broke Thursday,
Gillibrand tweeted: “Great news! It's my hope that DOJ does not
appeal. DADT is immoral & hurts our military.”
Senator Udall, a Democrat from
Colorado, also announced his support on Twitter: “Fedl court finds
Don't Ask Don't Tell unconstitutional. Time 4 Congress to repeal it
to improve natl security.”
Congress is currently debating whether
to repeal the law. House members voted in favor of a repeal measure
in May, and the Senate is expected to take up the issue this month.
“I applaud the Court's decision, and
urge the Senate to follow the lead of the House and repeal this
morally repugnant – and now unconstitutional – policy,”
Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley said. “It's time to end 'Don't
Ask, Don't Tell' today.”