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ACLU Calls Military Policy Patently Unconstitutional;
Lawsuit Challenges Violation of Equal Protection Clause
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 1993
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Following is a statement by William B. Rubenstein,
Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's national Lesbian and Gay
"The ACLU is joining with Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund in
filing this lawsuit today because the Defense Department policy denies
equality to lesbian and gay service members while serving no legitimate
government interest. It sacrifices our equal rights solely on the grounds
of protecting the perceived prejudices of others. The American Civil
Liberties Union will challenge any policy, from any source, that
discriminates against lesbians and gay men.
"We bring this case to safeguard the principle of equal protection under
the law for all Americans. The central promise of our Constitution is that
American citizens should be judged according to their abilities -- not
their skin color, gender or sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian service
members who have serve their country with distinction nevertheless risk
investigation, persecution and discharge for activities other service
members may engage in without risk. We seek one simple remedy through our
lawsuit -- to force the military to judge gay people on their abilities
and performance alone.
"As long as the military continues to judge us according to the supposed
prejudices of others, gay and lesbian Americans will continue to fight for
equality -- in Congress, in the courts and in the streets.
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