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District Court dismisses challenge of DADT

“We continue to believe the military’s ban is un-American and unconstitutional. There is no reason lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans should be prohibited from serving our country. They are patriotic, dedicated veterans. America should welcome their contributions and honor their commitment to our country.”
— C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) after today’s news

Another setback in the fight against discrimination in the U.S. military. The decision to dismiss the case of Cook v. Rumsfeld, was handed down by Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. The suit challenged the constitutionality of the Pentagon’s ban on gay and lesbian servicemembers.

The SLDN lawsuit asserts that “’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ punishes gay, lesbian and bisexual service members . . . for their sexual orientation and for their private, constitutionally protected conduct. As a result, it has denied and continues to deny them several Constitutional rights, including the right of privacy, equal protection of the law, and freedom of speech.” The plaintiffs in the lawsuit all served honorably in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Together, they have served more than sixty-five years in the armed forces. Three have served in direct support of operations in the Middle East. Among them, they have earned more than five dozen awards, medals and commendations.

Here is a list of the plaintiffs and their bios. The U.S. Attorney seeking the dismissal for the government, Mark Quinlivan, according to, called the suit “frivolous and without merit,” and had argued that the ban didn’t violate the constutional rights gays and lesbians because they could still serve as long as they remain in the closet and don’t have sex.

He also used the old saw of homos causing harm to unit cohesion without offering up any evidence of this “fact.”

Can I scream now?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding