After a federal judge yesterday ordered the military to stop enforcing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Rep. Barney Frank called for the Obama administration to wait to appeal the ruling until after Congress can repeal the policy in a lame-duck session.
Frank (D-MA), who is gay, appeared on MSNBC last night to call for the Justice Department to wait to appeal the ruling.The DOJ has 60 days to file its appeal. A spokeswoman says the department is reviewing the injunction, handed down yesterday by Judge Virginia Philips.
The DOJ did not immediately respond to questions about what the Defense Department is advised to do in the meantime. Defense and the White House referred questions to the DOJ.
“They’ve got 60 days. We will have the lame-duck session convene in less time than that,” he said. “Clearly what they should do is wait and see. I hope they don’t appeal it at all, but it would be really foolish to appeal it before we can repeal it.”
The House has passed repeal of the policy, which bars openly gay men and women from serving in the military, but repeal has so far failed in the Senate. The Pentagon has asked Congress not to act before a review of the policy is completed in December. The Obama administration, however, approved of the legislative language, which stipulates that the policy won’t be repealed until after the review is over and the president, defense secretary and chairman of the joint chiefs sign off.
Frank also called for the Log Cabin Republicans — which brought the lawsuit that resulted in Philips’ injunction — to try to bring some Republican votes to the table. He also chided the gay veterans’ group Servicemembers United, also involved in the lawsuit, for using overly partisan language.