SAN FRANCISCO – Gay rights advocates on Monday filed a challenge to a request by the Obama administration to keep the repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in place while the Pentagon prepares for an end to the ban on allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
In a brief filed in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, lawyers for gay political group Log Cabin Republicans said keeping the policy in place was “absurd.”
At issue is the constitutionality of Congress allowing the policy to stay in effect to give the Pentagon time to train troops and take other steps outlined in December when lawmakers repealed the 1993 law that put the ban in place. Under the new policy, the restrictions remain until the Pentagon certifies that the change won’t damage combat readiness.
The repeal came several months after a federal district judge issued an injunction barring enforcement of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” declaring in September that the policy was unconstitutional.
The Obama administration request to keep the policy in place was made in its brief challenging the injunction. Dan Woods, who is representing the Log Cabin Republicans, replied in the brief filed Monday.
“Even though a judge found this to be unconstitutional and the administration is not disagreeing with that, they are still investigating and able to discharge people,” he said.
Church elder moves to replace Jeffs
SALT LAKE CITY – Jailed polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs may no longer have control of his southern Utah-based church after a senior leader on Monday moved to replace him.
William E. Jessop filed papers with the Utah Department of Commerce to take over as president of the corporation that is the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Jessop, who served as bishop of the twin FLDS border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., said Monday his rise to the presidency is not an attempt to take over the church, but rather the fulfillment of an earlier directive from Jeffs.
“It is an attempt to preserve … the church,” Jessop, 41, said in an interview with the Associated Press.
It remained unclear whether Jeffs would immediately lose all power in the church or share it with Jessop, at least for now.
Teen wanting car allegedly beats mom
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Authorities in southwest Florida say a 17-year-old girl pointed a gun at her mother, pistol-whipped her and forced her to drive to a dealership to buy her a used car.
The sheriff’s office in Lee County said Monday that the teen has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, among other counts.