Don't ask

JUDGE DECLARES ‘DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL’ UNCONSTITUTIONAL

 

By Miriam Raftery
Former ECM intern Joseph Rocha gave key testimony at trial

September 10, 2010 (San Diego) – U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ruled yesterday that the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy banning openly gay soldiers from serving is unconstitutional, violating the First and Fifth Amendments. The judge found that the policy has a “direct and deleterious effect” on military readiness by hindering recruitment in wartime and requiring discharge of service members who have critical skills or training.

"I am overjoyed that so many veterans and active duty members have been honored with justice. The decision upholds the constitution proving that no patriots blood is any less valuable in the defense of our nation." Joseph Rocha, an award-winning ECM journalism intern who testified at the trial, told ECM in an e-mail this evening. A former Navy dog handler, Rocha underwent 93 counts of abuse at the hands of an officer while serving in Bahrain.

Read our prior coverage and interview with Rocha on his ordeal. View his testimony (pagse 27-34) here.

EX-ECM INTERN JOSEPH ROCHA LEADS NATIONAL EFFORT TO HALT ABUSE OF U.S. SOLDIERS

 

BREAKING NEWS: TODAY  SERVICE MEMBERS LEGAL DEFENSE FUND  SENT A LETTER TO DEFENSE SECRETARY GATES, URGING NEW INVESTIGATION OF CHIEF PETTY OFFICER WHO ABUSED ROCHA AND OTHERS


By Miriam Raftery

BATTLES LOOM AS TO WHEN GAYS WILL SERVE OPENLY IN MILITARY; LOCAL LEADERS AIR THEIR VIEWS

By E.A. Barrera

 

"The Navy knew that they had a large gay population. During one particular ‘Naval Investigative Services’ witch-hunt in 1976, one of my commanders commented that if they uncovered and removed all the people in the Navy who were gay, the Navy wouldn’t be able to function. But the climate was severe and it was one of the reasons I finally decided I’d had enough." --Robert Pedrick, Captain (Retired); US Navy, 1961-1985