Servicemembers Legal Defense Network filed a complaint
Monday on behalf of 12 lesbian and gay veterans of the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The complaint, Cook
v. Rumsfeld, challenges the constitutionality
of the federal "don't ask, don't tell" policy
regarding lesbian, gay, and bisexual service personnel.
The Boston-based case is an appeal that challenges an April
decision by the district court dismissing a lawsuit to
repeal "don't ask, don't tell"; it is also being
handled by the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale
The suit, which
was originally filed in 2004, claims that the policy
punishes gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members by
denying them freedom of speech, the right to privacy,
and equal protection. SLDN executive director Dixon
Osburn called the policy unfair and contradictory.
"We should honor
lesbian and gay patriots who serve our country, not
deny them the very freedom and dignity they fight to
protect," he said in a press release. "We are
optimistic that the first circuit will grant these 12
men and women their much-deserved day in court."
work to repeal "don't ask, don't tell"