Religious Tolerance logo

Gays in the U.S. Military - DADT


2010-SEP-09 to now: Federal courts find
"Don't ask, don't tell" policy unconstitutional

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

Continued from a previous file which describes Congressional action to repeal DADT.

horizontal rule


Under the Constitutional principle of separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the Federal Government:

  • Some have argued that President Obama has the authority to end the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) through a simple executive order. 1 However, this might only be a temporary action. He or any subsequent president could simply reinstate it at any time with another executive order.

  • Congress can repeal the policy and replace it with an inclusive policy allowing persons of all sexual orientations to openly serve in the military. The House has done this and the Senate came close to passing a similar bill. It would not have repealed DADT immediately, but only after senior military leaders had stated that it could be done without negatively affecting military readiness. A study by the military on the effects of abolishing DADT is expected to be completed in early 2010-DEC.

  • A case can be brought before the federal courts in an attempt to have the existing DADT policy declared in violation of the U.S. Constitutional, and thus be unconstitutional.

This section discusses two such court cases:

  • One was brought by the The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) before District Court Judge Virginia Phillips of the United States District Court for the Central District of California in a successful attempt to have DADT declared unconstitutional. She issued a worldwide "judgment and permanent injunction" on 2010-OCT-12.

    Judge Phillips's ruling was suspended pending an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On 2011-JUL-06, a three judge panel of the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals restored the injunction. Any lesbian, gay, or bisexual is safe, for now, to reveal their sexual orientation. However, in the unlikely event that the full Court of Appeals eventually rules that the DADT is constitutional, or that the U.S. Supreme Court rules it constitutional, any service member who has come out of the closet will be in danger of discharge.

  • Another was brought by Maj. Margaret Witt before U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton in Washington State in a successful attempt to obtain reinstatement in the Air Force.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link

horizontal rule

Topics covered in this section:

The case in California federal court:

The case in Washington State:

horizontal rule

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "New Study: Obama Can Halt Gay Discharges With Executive Order. Military Law Experts Chart Course to End 16-Year Ban," Palm Center, 2009-MAY-11, at:
  2. Virginia Phillips, "Text of ruling: Case No. CV 04-08425-VAP (Ex)," Filed 2010-SEP-09, at: This is a PDF file.

horizontal rule

Site navigation:

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality & Bisexuality > Challenges > DADT > here

horizontal rule

Copyright © 2010 & 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2010-SEP-11
Latest update: 2011-JUL-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or return to the "Gays in the military" menu, or choose:

horizontal rule

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

GooglePage Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

Popular Pages

More Info

Twitter icon

Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
Interpret the Bible
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Confusing terms
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty

Same-sex marriage

Human rights
Gays in the military
Sex & gender
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news


Sponsored link: