Courage action targets Attorney General Eric Holder: Don’t defend “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

October 12, 2010 at 4:32 pm 12 comments

By Eden James

As soon as Judge Virginia Phillips announced the injunction halting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” immediately, the Courage Campaign team released a statement as well as two online actions to empower the community to take immediate action on DADT.

Here’s our statement to the press from Chair and Founder Rick Jacobs:

“Today’s injunction against enforcement of the failed ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy’ means that for the first time in seventeen years, patriotic men and women will not get fired by the military for who they are, and forces deployed to war zones overseas will not be deprived of capable, battle tested soldiers who refuse to lie. That said, this injunction is but a temporary fix, and it is our hope that the Justice Department will not appeal this decision, and the Senate will finally abide the wishes of three quarters of the American people by eliminating this policy once and for all. Our thanks to the Log Cabin Republicans and the many courageous soldiers who have shared their stories for making today’s outcome possible.

“Ultimately, there are no second-class soldiers and there are no second-class Americans. Ensuring our laws match these values is not just a matter of national security or right and wrong. For the young people who struggle daily with who they are in the face of institutionalized homophobia, it sends a message that can literally be the difference between life and death.”

We also deployed an action empowering Courage community members to sign a short petition letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him NOT to appeal the injunction and decision ruling DADT unconstitutional. The language from the petition is short and sweet:

I respectfully write to request that the Department of Justice (DOJ) refrain from appealing the federal district court injunction in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, following the court decision declaring the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) law unconstitutional.

The leaders of our nation’s armed forces understand that DADT serves no purpose in the laws of our nation; it is time for the DOJ to stop defending this law.

If you agree, please sign the “Don’t Defend DADT” action now:

Finally, we also posted a Facebook-driven action — a “Thank You” card for Judge Phillips (unfortunately, Facebook was experiencing some technical difficulties at the time the action went live). Here’s what it says:

Thank you for taking a stand for equality in our armed forces.

Thank you for your decision to issue an injunction against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, ordering the armed forces to end this policy of open discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers.

To add your name to our Thank You card to Judge Phillips and share it with your friends:

If you like the actions we’re taking — or you have an action of your own to suggest — fire away in the comments!

UPDATE: Statement by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network legal director Aaron Tax:

“We applaud Judge Phillips for putting an immediate stop to all investigations and discharges under this unconstitutional law. As explained by the judge, this order applies across the military. This order bars the Department of Defense from enforcing or applying the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law against any person under its command. We have clients under investigation and facing discharge right now. We’ll be monitoring each case over the coming days. This order will likely be appealed by the Justice Department and brought to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit where her decision may well be reversed. The law still has a chance of being repealed in the lame duck session of Congress. Service members must proceed safely and should not come out at this time. Anyone in the armed forces with questions or concerns should call our hotline.”

UPDATE: Statement from Chad Griffin, Board President, American Foundation for Equal Rights:

“This ruling is another signal from our courts that the Constitution’s mandate of equality under the law must be applied to every American, as our nation’s Founders intended. Tragically, until every instance of state-sanctioned discrimination is struck down, we will continue to see its horrific effects, particularly on our young people.”

UPDATE: Statement from Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United:

“This order from Judge Phillips is another historic and courageous step in the right direction, a step that Congress has been noticeably slow in taking,” said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans. “While this is certainly news to be celebrated, we would also advise caution in advance of a potential stay from the Ninth Circuit. If the appellate court wishes to put itself on the right side of history, however, it will allow this sound and long-over due decision to remain in effect.”

More news, as it develops.

Entry filed under: DADT trial.


12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann S.  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you, Courage Campaign and Judge Phillips! And let’s not forget the LCR.

  • 2. Alan E.  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    I got the email (on each email I have), and signed it!

  • 3. Kathleen  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:36 pm


    • 4. JonT  |  October 12, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      Signed, sealed and delivered.

    • 5. Rhie  |  October 12, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      Me too.

  • 6. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Now to keep fighting, until we see ALL forms of state-sanctioned discrimination abolished!

    • 7. Ronnie  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      I concur…..<3…Ronnie

  • 8. cc  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    For the first time I actually have hope that I will be able to greet my girlfriend with a kiss when she returns home! I know I still have to wait, but I can finally begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

  • 9. DebbieC  |  October 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    More good news – the Florida gay adoption ban is over!

    • 10. Sagesse  |  October 12, 2010 at 6:20 pm

      Reading at the end about how the anti-equality folks will likely have an adoption ballot initiative for 2012. That’s political power. Everytime equality wins one, they come roaring back to take it away.

      • 11. Jonathan H  |  October 12, 2010 at 11:54 pm

        Yes, but they’re fighting a losing battle. 2012 elections are two years away, that’s two years of normalcy that they’ll have to fight back against, like Sisyphus pushing that rock up the hill. As long as we can keep civilization stable, equality will win.

        And I think it’s accelerating, too.

      • 12. Sagesse  |  October 13, 2010 at 5:11 am

        @Johathan H

        Agreed. I’m not worried about the initiative. Just pointing out that the opposition never give up, and as one of the witnesses in the Prop 8 trial pointed out, how can you say LGBT have political power, when every time they win a right, the NOMbies are back with their wallets and their mouths open to take it away.


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