Yale Law School
will end its policy of not working with military
recruiters following a court ruling this week that
jeopardized about $300 million in federal funding,
school officials said Wednesday.
Yale and other
universities had objected to the Pentagon's ''don't ask,
don't tell'' policy that allows gay men and women to serve
in the military only if they keep their sexual
orientation to themselves. Yale Law School had refused
to assist military recruiters because the Pentagon
wouldn't sign a nondiscrimination pledge.
The 2nd U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Yale on Monday,
rejecting its argument that its right to academic freedom
was infringed by federal law that says universities
must give the military the same access as other job
recruiters or forfeit federal money.
''The fact is we
have been forced under enormous pressure to acquiescence
in a policy that we believe is deeply offensive and harmful
to our students,'' said Robert Burt, a Yale law
professor who was lead plaintiff in the case.
The funding loss
would have devastated the university's medical research
into cancer, heart disease and other illnesses, Burt said.
Yale Law Dean
Harold Koh said in a news release Wednesday that he was
disappointed by the appeals court decision, saying the
school has an obligation to ''ameliorate the impact''
of discriminatory hiring practices.
''We intend to
meet this obligation and will work alongside our students
to identify the best ways of doing so, in accordance with
the law,'' Koh said. ''We continue to look forward to
the day when all members of our community will have an
equal opportunity to serve in our nation's armed
Koh did not
immediately respond to calls seeking additional comment.
Jan Conroy, a
Yale Law spokeswoman, said the school would waive the
requirement that military recruiters sign the
nondiscrimination pledge. The Air Force already has
asked to participate in a job interview program that
starts Monday, she said.
The 2nd Circuit
decision followed the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous
ruling last year that the government can force colleges to
open their campuses to military recruiters. The
justices rejected a free-speech challenge from law
schools and professors who claimed they should not
have to associate with military recruiters or promote their
campus appearances. (John Christoffersen, AP)