The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a ruling today which effectively halted the enforcement of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy. The three-judge panel previously blocked an order from Federal Judge Virginia Phillips in 2010 after her ruling in the case Log Cabin Republicans vs. United States found the policy to be unconstitutional.
A stay was issued to allow the policy to remain in place while the repeal made its way through Congress, but the three-judge panel said today that “The circumstances and balance ofhardships have changed, and appellants/cross-appellees can no longer satisfy the demanding standard for issuance of a stay.”
The law, commonly known as DADT, was repealed during the final days of the 111th Congress, though service members must wait for the president, the head of the Department of Defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs to certify repeal before gay and lesbian soldiers can begin to serve openly.
The armed services are currently in the process of training soldiers and other personnel for the change in policy and are expected to have all service members trained by mid-summer.
It’s not know how today’s ruling will affect the military, already well into the transition of repeal. After Phillips’ original ruling finding the law unconstitutional, gay rights organizations urged gay and lesbian soldiers to use caution in coming out.