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Obama urges courts to go slow on "don't ask, don't tell"

The Obama administration is reportedly asking a federal appeals court in California to reconsider its order last week temporarily blocking the U.S. military from enforcing its "don't ask, don't tell" policy on openly gay and lesbian troops.

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The Obama administration is reportedly asking a federal appeals court in California to reconsider its order last week temporarily blocking the U.S. military from enforcing its "don't ask, don't tell" policy on openly gay and lesbian troops. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The Obama administration is reportedly asking a federal appeals court in California to reconsider its order last week temporarily blocking the U.S. military from enforcing its "don't ask, don't tell" policy on openly gay and lesbian troops.

Congress has passed a law that eventually will repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy, but the order from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on July 6 called for an immediate halt to its enforcement.

It did so after a request by the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that promotes equal rights for gays and lesbians and is challenging DADT, Bloomberg reports.

The Obama administration filed papers Thursday asking the court to reconsider its order, arguing against  "abrupt " court action putting an end to the policy in favor of an "orderly transition," ABC reports.

According to CNN:

At issue in the complex legal fight is whether "don't ask, don't tell" can remain in effect — even in name only — while the legal fight over its constitutionality is being carried out in the federal courts. Judges have been at odds over the enforcement issue for months.

The Log Cabin Republicans, meanwhile, are frustrated with the Obama administration's timeline on repealing DADT.

"'Don't ask, don't tell' is an offense to American values that should have been gone long ago," ABC quoted R. Clarke Cooper as saying. "It is shameful that a president who has taken credit for opposing the policy is taking extreme measures to keep it on life support."

Under the deferred repeal, Obama, the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must sign off on the certification that the military is thoroughly prepared for the change, the LA Times reports, adding that:

In its motion to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the government focused on the separation of powers, rather than a defense of the policy's merits.

According to the ABC, the Justice Department expects the military will certify a repeal of DADT by the end of August, leaving a 60-day waiting period before the policy is scrapped.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/war/military/110715/us-military-gays-lesbian-troops-dont-ask-dont-tell-log-cabin-republicans