BREAKING: Judge halts enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

In the ongoing seesaw drama that has become the military’s policy on serving openly, federal Judge Virginia Phillips has issued the injunction to stop enforcement of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell today. She has ordered the Defense Department to “immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding” and you can read the full text of her announcement in this PDF.

The Justice Department had urged Phillips, who sits in Riverside, Calif., to limit any relief in the case to the Log Cabin group or to the named plaintiffs, but the judge rebuffed that request. Her order applies to all U.S. military operations across the globe.

“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.

Phillips also said the Pentagon had undermined the government’s position by delaying the discharge proceedings of acknowledged gays and lesbians while they were in combat zones, then seeking to remove them when they returned.

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