A federal appeals court refused Thursday to decide the constitutionality of the military's now-repealed "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning openly gay troops, saying the issue has been resolved since Americans can enlist and serve in the armed forces without regard to sexual orientation.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco tossed out a lawsuit that had challenged the military policy as a violation of gay service members' civil rights. In doing so, the appeals court also dismissed a Southern California trial judge's year-old ruling that the policy was unconstitutional.
The gay rights group Log Cabin Republicans filed the lawsuit in 2004 challenging the policy. The group's lawyer, Dan Woods, said he would ask the full 9th Circuit to review the panel's decision.