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Supreme Court rejects challenge To “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

I have never been a huge military fan myself and have often viewed the unfair “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy as one of the only ways queer lives are safeguarded. But this cheeky attitude is hardly effective in the real world wherein many LGBT individuals wish to serve this country and lead successful military careers openly.

Today was just another blow to LGBT rights when the Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal from former Army Capt. James Pietrangelo II, who was dismissed under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

From the Huffington Post/AP:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed with the Obama administration and refused to review Pentagon policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

The court said it will not hear an appeal from former Army Capt. James Pietrangelo II, who was dismissed under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The federal appeals court in Boston earlier threw out a lawsuit filed by Pietrangelo and 11 other veterans. He was the only member of that group who asked the high court to rule that the Clinton-era policy is unconstitutional.

“I think this decision is an absolute travesty of justice and I think every judge on this court should be ashamed of themselves,” said Pietrangelo, who served six years in the Army, seven years in the Vermont National Guard and fought in Iraq in 1991. “It’s nothing short of rubber stamping legalized discrimination, the same way Nazi Germany legalized discrimination against Jews.

“The Supreme Court is not infallible, they get things wrong, and they got it wrong this time,” he said.

During last year’s campaign, President Barack Obama indicated he supported the eventual repeal of the policy, but he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January. Meanwhile, the White House has said it won’t stop gays and lesbians from being dismissed from the military.

In court papers, the administration said the appeals court ruled correctly in this case when it found that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.”

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman referred requests for comment to the Justice Department, but said the military policy “implements the law.”

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