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Boston Court
Dismisses Challenge to Military’s Gay Ban

Boston Court
Dismisses Challenge to Military’s Gay Ban

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A federal appeals court in Boston on Monday threw out the lawsuit Cook v. Gates, which challenged the constitutionality of "don't ask, don't tell," the military policy that prohibits lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans from serving openly in the military. The federal court of appeals for the first circuit of Boston dismissed the case, ruling that "special deference" must be given to Congress in situations where federal statutes regulate military affairs, Agence France-Presse reported.

A federal appeals court in Boston on Monday threw out the lawsuit Cook v. Gates, which challenged the constitutionality of "don't ask, don't tell," the military policy that prohibits lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans from serving openly in the military.

The federal court of appeals for the first circuit of Boston dismissed the case, ruling that "special deference" must be given to Congress in situations where federal statutes regulate military affairs, Agence France-Presse reported.

Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which lobbies for repeal of the policy, released a statement saying he was disappointed with the decision and was weighing options as to how to move forward. "SLDN applauds the perseverance of the 12 men and women who have brought this case," he said. "We are consulting with the plaintiffs and assessing all possible options before making a decision on our next step."

The decision is at odds with the ruling in a similar case made by the federal appeals court of San Francisco, where the court upheld a lawsuit brought by a decorated Air Force nurse, Major Margaret Witt, who was allegedly forced out of the military for being a lesbian after 20 years of service.

Legal experts say the discrepancy of the two rulings will likely land the issue in the U.S. Supreme Court. (The Advocate)

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