RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- A federal judge in Southern California on Thursday declared the U.S. military's ban on openly gay service members unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment rights of gay and lesbians.From the Washington Post:
U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips granted a request for an injunction halting the government's ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy for gays in the military.
Phillips said the policy doesn't help military readiness and instead has a ''direct and deleterious effect'' on the armed services.
The lawsuit was the biggest legal test of the law in recent years and came amid promises by President Barack Obama that he will work to repeal the policy.
Government lawyers argued Phillips lacked the authority to issue a nationwide injunction and the issue should be decided by Congress.
An appeals court Thursday lifted a temporary injunction barring the federal government from funding research involving human embryonic stem cell research.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted a request from the Justice Department to stay an injunction issued Aug. 23 blocking the funding. In a major victory for supporters of the research, the court said the Obama administration could resume funding the research pending a full appeal of the case.
U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, ruling in a lawsuit filed by two researchers working on alternatives to the cells, said the funding violated a federal rule that prohibits federal tax money from being used for research that involves the destruction of human embryos.