For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Brad Luna | Phone: 202/216.1514 | Cell: 202/812.8140
Trevor Thomas | Phone: 202/216.1547 | Cell: 202/250.9758

Human Rights Campaign Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Denial of Certiorari in Pietrangelo v. Gates Case

Supreme Court’s decision underscores the need for swift action by President Obama and Congress to repeal this discriminatory law


Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization issued a statement today
on the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of a writ of certiorari in the case
of Pietrangelo v. Gates, a challenge to the U.S. Military’s
discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.  Captain Pietrangelo was
discharged in 2004 under the U.S. Military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
law. The Supreme Court’s decision ends the appeals process for Captain
Pietrangelo. This decision comes weeks before the Board of Inquiry
hearing is scheduled to review the case of First Lieutenant Daniel Choi
of the New York Army National guard who is being discharged under
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
“The time to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t
Tell’ is now. The Supreme Court’s denial of a writ of certiorari in
this case, and the upcoming hearing to discharge Lt. Dan Choi, is only
further proof that this law is not working and is putting our national
security at unnecessary risk,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe
Solmonese. “Every day, patriotic lesbian, gay and bisexual service
members continue to be discharged under this discriminatory
policy. Every moment that the Administration and Congress delay
repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ our nation is robbed of brave men
and women who would risk their lives to keep our country safe.”
Pietrangelo v. Gates, originally Cook
v. Gates, was brought by twelve former members of the U.S. Military who
were discharged under DADT. The district court dismissed the suit for a
failure to state a claim and the plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the First Circuit. Last year, the appeals court affirmed
the district court’s ruling. Captain Pietrangelo on his own
subsequently appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court by filing a
petition for a writ of certiorari.
First Lieutenant Daniel Choi of the
New York Army National Guard is one of those service members affected
by DADT. Later this summer, Lt. Choi will go before a Board of Inquiry
to fight the U.S. Military’s efforts to discharge him under DADT. Lt.
Choi, is an Arabic linguist who graduated from West Point. His case has
received significant national media attention, underscoring the need
for repeal of DADT.



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The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of over 750,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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