There was good news for people who have been fighting for the legal recognition of the equality of heterosexuals and homosexuals yesterday: District Court Judge Virginia Phillips ordered the U.S. military to stop enforcing the discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, which allows the military to kick out soldiers simply because they engage in homosexual activity on their own time.
There’s bad news looming in that case, however: President Barack Obama can order the Department of Justice to appeal the decision of Judge Phillips, overturning the decision that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is unconstitutional, and putting the policy of discrimination back in place.
Yesterday, the Obama Administration gave a signal that it will likely seek to defend Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Obama gave the order to the Department of Justice to appeal decision by District Court Judge Joseph Tauro that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The Defense of Marriage Act allows state governments to create laws that treat same-sex couples as unequal, preventing them from getting married.
In the face of Barack Obama’s weakness on equality for gays, lesbians and bisexuals, eighteen Democrats and one independent from the United States have signed a letter urging the President and the Attorney General to return to a commitment to equality in the United States. The letter asks Attorney General Eric Holder to allow the decision that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is unconstitutional to stand. These senators are: