September 9th, 2010
09:42 PM ET

Federal court: 'Don't ask, don't tell' is unconstitutional

A federal court in Riverside,  California, ruled Thursday that the
military's "don't ask, don't tell"  policy - which bars lesbians and gay men
from serving openly in the military -  is unconstitutional.

Virginia A. Phillips, U.S. district judge in Southern California, has ruled
that the policy violates the Fifth and First amendments, and issued a permanent injunction barring its enforcement.

Post by:
Filed under: Courts • Military
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. TDJ

    Another misguided attempt by an activist judge that will be overturned on appeal.

    September 9, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • nieciedo

      The definition of an "activist judge" is, I guess, any judge who makes a decision that you personally don't like.

      September 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • K


      September 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nick


    September 9, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. KRemlin

    Kind of sad that in this day and age we let african-americans serve but we don't let gays and lesbians. Personally, I say anyone who wants to serve and has a clean criminal record should be able to serve

    September 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • larrykelly

      I think it's great that African-Americans serve, They do a fine job.

      September 9, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reynolds

      what kind of racist comment is that? You Can't Believe They Let Us Serve lol Characters In 2010

      September 9, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      What does that mean? "we let African-Americans serve"? As if African-Americans serving in the miltary is somehow objectionable? Who is the "we", and under what authority do "we" "let" them serve? Is the "we" white Christan males in power, "letting" the Other African-American fight to defend the country to which both are equal citizens under the law?

      Your comment reeks of arrogant, subconscious racism, under the guise of advocating for human rights.

      September 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Letting African Americans serve in the military WAS objectionable at one point in time. The original poster meant no disrespect – he was simply stating that groups that have not been allowed to serve in the military in the past (minorities, women) have eventually been let in. Our military to some extent mirrors our society; one that is becoming more accepting of minority (not just race minority) as time goes on.

      One other thing that I found interesting is that the original posted was jumped on by you all for being disrespectful, while his words could have been interpreted multiple ways. The next time you want to assume what someone means to better suit your aggressive personality (at least on the internet) without clarifying – don't. Hate is not something we need in todays world.

      September 9, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emareff

      Whenever people see an opportunity to call someone else a racist they jump on it without reading context clues. I didn't read the OP's statement as trying to down on black Americans. He may not have conveyed it in the manner that you did, but I still saw that there was no malice in his words. I'm so sick to my stomach with all of the racist finger pointing. Sean did an excellent job of "translating" for the rest of you who can only see racism in what was not meant to be a hurtful comment.

      September 9, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • reck0ner

      Just because somebody supports/sympathizes with transgendered people, doesn't mean they are not a racist... ooOH YOU DIDN'T KNOW ! ? ! ? ! YOU BETTA ASK SOMEBODY ! ! ! ...i have noticed that transgendered people are even more racist than normal people ...although they are more aware of descrimination, trangendered people despise individuals with natural singularities because natural phenomena shines a light into darkness. Transgendered people do not create life, they consume life, just like cancer... they feed off of the life of the human condition because they are of the darkness... darkness is never content, it will continue consuming until all light is consumed and without color, behold the black hole... you have been warned, so you will be without excuse when the destroyer comes... all liars will have their part in the lake of fire...

      September 10, 2010 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
    • lovelace

      why african americans tho? why not women or chinese or anyone else?

      September 10, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • SomeoneNew_Now

      You are aware that the military will accept felons to serve but not open gays?

      December 10, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sheridan

    Considering it was Republicans that initiated the lawsuit I'm surprised some Democrats heads aren't exploding, but then again I'm sure that fact will never make it to air on CNN

    September 9, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      They are Gay republicans not straight

      September 9, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • reelscott

      Log Cabin Republicans are like Ben Nelson. They just like being in that political party for some reason, regardless of their own beliefs.

      September 10, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. LDP

    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness… for ALL

    September 9, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Spencer

    TDJ: Would you like to know who is arguably the most famous activist judge in the United States right now? Look up a guy named "Antonin Scalia." He's on the United States Supreme Court. That's the highest court of appeals in our judicial hierarchy, in case you didn't know, which I'm guessing you don't, as most people who just regurgitate Glenn Beck don't.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jezreel

    If we don't have a problem in Israel to serve and we are over zelous in what is right then why can the U.S learn from it! Oh wait a minute, this what a democratic country does !

    September 9, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ray gibbs

    finally, everyone's right to be left alone.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dustin


    September 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. michael nv

    No one is considering the impact on the other 99% of the people serving in an incredibly difficult situation.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darby

      Word from friends in the military is everybody serving already knows who's gay there and nobody cares. They don't officially out their comrades because of the stupid policy. That 'impact' you're so worried about is a whole lot of nothing.

      September 10, 2010 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Charles Masters

      Which is what exactly?

      September 10, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Your argument about "the other 99%" does not work because the guy people are already in the military and it seems to be working. They've been there for many years.

      Also this "don't ask" law was about to be reversed anyway

      September 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Stefan H.

    YES! This is phenomenal news. May this be the road to true inclusion in the Armed Forces. Now what probably awaits is Circuit Court appeals and a final rendering decision in the Supreme Court. Onward soldiers! The LGBT community is behind you 100%! Stand tall. Heads held high. There is strength in numbers!

    September 9, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Quinn

    It's about time.

    September 9, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Travis

    Case and point(s) it's 2010. Grow the h*ll up. The world does not revolve around straighties. Gay people do just as much, if not more, than straight people do. I don't see why we wouldn't be allowed to fight for our country. A country we live in, pay taxes in, contribute to the economy in (way more than straight people especially gay guys bcuz we actually like to shop), and we're usually the most collected. Get a group of straight military men alone together and it's instant drunkness and girl chasing. People today need to get over their own hang ups. There are different people, with different beliefs, different culturals, and different viewpoints and everyone should be respected. Especially when something like this, coming together for a common goal (the protection of our country) should be celebrated. Too many people always got something negative to say and always downing people just because they don't know or understand something. And let me end by saying (especially if you're a straight man) if you didn't take your happy behind tail into the military and downing a gay person wanting to, ask yourself "Who is more manly, more powerful, and more respected?"

    September 9, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • G

      Well said, I replied to your comment in the wrong box, lol.

      September 10, 2010 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. aztechie

    as a female, Hispanic GULF WAR VETERAN I say it is about time! I am straight and yes, I did act as a beard for several gay saailors and 1 Marine. When I was them I never feared being rapped, like some females did. I always thought gay and women should servve on the same ships. no pregnancies

    September 10, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. gypsy

    Please, the phrase "Kind of sad that in this day and age we let african-americans serve but we don’t let gays and lesbians" is offensive on a number of levels, and I'm not usually one to jump on someone's personal opinions. But I am very glad to see other people commented on this.Just because no outward malice was intended doesn't mean that it was not a pathetic thing to say. Maybe some do not consider your skin color to be equal to who-ever you decide to diddle one day. I don't. But everyone should be allowed to serve who will respect and uphold the good name of our country and not muddle it with lack of integrity.

    September 10, 2010 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
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