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SLDN Response to Pentagon Allowing Gays, Lesbians to Enlist Under Court Injunction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 19, 2010
Trevor Thomas: (616) 430-2030 or trevor@sldn.org
Paul DeMiglio: (202) 621-5408 or paul@sldn.org

SLDN Response to Pentagon Allowing Gays, Lesbians to Enlist Under Court Injunction

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), issued a statement today after a Pentagon spokeswoman says recruiters have been told that they must accept gay applicants, following a federal court decision striking down the ban on gays serving openly in the military. U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips issued an injunction last week that suspended and discontinued any investigation or discharge under DADT. The Department of Justice asked for a stay on Friday, October 15. Judge Phillips is considering a stay, or hold, on the injunction right now. Read The Associated Press story by Anne Flaherty: http://yhoo.it/a1sSy0

Statement by Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:

“During this interim period of uncertainty, service members must not come out and recruits should use caution if choosing to sign up. The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law is rooted in any statement of homosexuality made at anytime and to anyone. A higher court is likely to issue a hold on the injunction by Judge Phillips very soon. The bottom line: if you come out now, it can be used against you in the future by the Pentagon. As the DOJ fights to keep this unconstitutional and oppressive law, we are monitoring active-duty clients’ cases and fielding calls every day to our hotline. Given the uncertainty in the courts, we urge the Senate to act swiftly next month on repeal when they return to Washington.”

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (www.sldn.org) is a national, non-profit legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” A journalists’ guide is available here.

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