Gay groups on Monday filed papers
asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California to
lift its stay on a lower court's ruling ordering the Pentagon to end
its enforcement of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that
bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.
In its filing, the Log Cabin
Republicans, the group representing the plaintiffs, said that the
military would not be irreparably harmed if the stay is lifted while
the case is on appeal.
“Every day the government remains
free to implement Don't Ask, Don't Tell, American citizens'
constitutional rights are violated,” the group said.
Last week, the 3-judge panel agreed to
temporarily block U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips' injunction
against enforcement of the policy. Phillips struck down the law as
unconstitutional in September.
The court is now considering whether to
place Phillips' injunction permanently on hold while the case is
President Barack Obama has said he
agrees that the law should be repealed but is pursuing an appeal
because he's looking for a “durable” solution from Congress.
Repeal advocates remain hopeful that the Senate will act against the
law during the lame-duck session after the November midterm
Four additional gay rights groups –
Lambda Legal, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Servicemembers
United and the Palm Center at the University of California at Santa
Barbara – filed amicus briefs on Monday in support of plaintiffs.
Peter Renn, a Lambda Legal staff
attorney, told the Washington Post that the government's
policy contributes to an anti-gay environment that fuels violence
against gay teenagers.
“It is absurd to pretend that the
staggering rates of suicide among gay and lesbian teens that have
been recently reported magically sprang into existence, without any
connection to what adults are saying and doing,” he said.