Catholic World News

Judge declares US policy on gays in military unconstitutional

October 13, 2010

A US district judge in California has declared that the 1993 federal law on gays in the military-- popularly known as the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy-- is unconstitutional.

The law bars those who “demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from military service because “it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”

The Obama administration, which has sought to overturn the 1993 policy, has 60 days to appeal the judge’s ruling.

In a 1992 document, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that

‘sexual orientation’ does not constitute a quality comparable to race, ethnic background, etc. in respect to non-discrimination. Unlike these, homosexual orientation is an objective disorder and evokes moral concern. There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Oct. 14, 2010 1:38 PM ET USA

    My fear at the time concerned the discipline needed to respond appropriately to sexual harrassment by a bisexual superior who was subsequently discharged for homosexual activity. The military does not need that kind of nuisance. Therefore, given the propensity of some to impose their inclination on fellow members of the military, I embrace the magisterial directive on the subject.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Oct. 13, 2010 10:05 PM ET USA

    Homosexuality is disordered, but the practitioners have a right to live, provide for themselves and serve our country. What is the fear,that they will rape straight soldiers? Do not female soldiers run the same risk?

  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 13, 2010 9:27 AM ET USA

    Of course, this judge has no military background and she might be responsible for some 20% of the military will consider leaving the service. This ruling will seriously undermine the character of the military services, especially when you consider that you live with each other out of necessity. Another consequence will be the inevitable conflict between what we believe and what the government (military) will tell the troops is the "correct" way to believe (or you're out).

  • Posted by: - Oct. 13, 2010 8:09 AM ET USA

    Why do we even bother having three branches of government - executive, legislative, and judiciary? We might as well do away with the first two and submit to our black-robed masters - oops, we've already done that.