A group of 14
retired military leaders has filed a brief with the
first circuit court of appeals in Washington, D.C., in
support of a lawsuit filed by military personnel
dismissed under the armed services' antigay "don't
ask, don't tell" policy. The case is being appealed
after it was dismissed by a lower federal court in April,
the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said in a
statement on Tuesday.
The brief, which
was filed November 22, states that the group has
"first-hand knowledge that numerous gay people serve in the
armed forces with full awareness by their commands."
The brief also argues that the policy wrongfully
implies that openly gay service members detract from
unit cohesion, and that militaries in other developed
countries have had no significant problems from
allowing gay members to serve.
C. Dixon Osburn,
SLDN executive director, said in the press release
that the debate over the ban is an important milestone.
"In the past, courts have deferred to what they
perceived as a policy preferred by military leaders to
further military readiness. That has not been and is
not now the case. 'Don't ask, don't tell' hurts our
national security, as the leaders who signed on to
this brief so eloquently argue." (The Advocate)
leaders file brief against "don't ask, don't tell"