Progressive members of the U.S. House of Representatives today took a stand in the ongoing court case challenging the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
In a letter led off by the signatures of the three out gay members of Congress, 69 members of the House today asked President Obama to "take this opportunity to restore integrity to our military and decline to appeal Judge Phillips' ruling" in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States.
The letter authored and circulated by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) discussed the September 9th court ruling, the case of Air Force Reserve Major Margaret Witt and a 2010 Williams Institute report concluding that approximately 66,000 gay and lesbian people cerrently serve under DADT.
The mention of Witt's case is not likely accidental, as the judge overseeing her challenge to a DADT discharge has said that he would rule in her case today.
Two key paragraphs from the letter:
“Mr. President, in this critical time when military readiness is paramount we must recognize the importance of every linguist, flight nurse and infantryman. As you announced our official end of combat operations in Iraq, we must prepare for what is to come. To stay above the rest, to remain the most formidable military force in the world, we must innovate, change and grow. As we update our weaponry and strategy, so too must we open our policy to encourage as much cohesiveness and camaraderie as possible. In the military where lives rely on trust and determination, DADT represents neither.”
“We consider this matter a top priority to our service members, the American people and the security of the United States. We acknowledge and appreciate your support and hope that together we can end this dishonorable policy once and for all. We hope that you, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Services, will take this opportunity to restore integrity to our military and decline to appeal Judge Phillips’ ruling.”
The letter comes the day after the Justice Department filed its objections to the injunction requested by LCR in the case, which calls for a complete halt to enforcement of DADT against all servicemembers.
Download the letter here: 9-23_DADT_appeal_letter.pdf