The Time to Repeal "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" is Now
Human Rights Campaign Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Denial of Certiorari in Pietrangelo v. Gates Case
Supreme Court’s decision underscores the need for swift action by President Obama and Congress to repeal this discriminatory law
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization issued a statement today on the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of a writ of certiorari in the case of Pietrangelo v. Gates, a challenge to the U.S. Military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. Captain Pietrangelo was discharged in 2004 under the U.S. Military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. The Supreme Court’s decision ends the appeals process for Captain Pietrangelo. This decision comes weeks before the Board of Inquiry hearing is scheduled to review the case of First Lieutenant Daniel Choi of the New York Army National guard who is being discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
“The time to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is now. The Supreme Court’s denial of a writ of certiorari in this case, and the upcoming hearing to discharge Lt. Dan Choi, is only further proof that this law is not working and is putting our national security at unnecessary risk,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Every day, patriotic lesbian, gay and bisexual service members continue to be discharged under this discriminatory policy. Every moment that the Administration and Congress delay repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” our nation is robbed of brave men and women who would risk their lives to keep our country safe.”
Pietrangelo v. Gates, originally Cook v. Gates, was brought by twelve former members of the U.S. Military who were discharged under DADT. The district court dismissed the suit for a failure to state a claim and the plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Last year, the appeals court affirmed the district court’s ruling. Captain Pietrangelo on his own subsequently appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court by filing a petition for a writ of certiorari.
First Lieutenant Daniel Choi of the New York Army National Guard is one of those service members affected by DADT. Later this summer, Lt. Choi will go before a Board of Inquiry to fight the U.S. Military’s efforts to discharge him under DADT. Lt. Choi, is an Arabic linguist who graduated from West Point. His case has received significant national media attention, underscoring the need for repeal of DADT.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.