Yale Sues Defense Dept. Over Gay Rights

Every year military recruiters (search) visit law schools across the country looking for some of the best and brightest to serve as lawyers in the armed forces. But the military’s policy regarding homosexuals is excluding just that, according to several lawsuits being filed.

Three groups of university students and law professors have filed suit against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (search ), protesting the military’s “don’t ask don’t tell” policy for homosexuals.

The most recent suit comes from a Yale (search ) professor and 43 of his colleagues, hoping to bar military recruiters from the law school’s career office because the military, unlike other employers, refuses to sign a non-discrimination pledge.

"These are talented people ... our students are very smart,” Yale professor Robert Burt said. “They're good lawyers, and their sexual preference, who they choose to sleep with or fall in love with, has nothing to do with their fitness for the job."

But it may be a case of biting the hand that feeds -- Yale gets $300 million a year in federal funding for medical and scientific research. The government threatened to freeze the cash, which federal law allows when recruiters are shut out. So the university agreed to open its doors.

The Department of Defense said the issue is access that is equal in quality and scope, and that Yale Law School must give their recruiters the same access that the law school provides other employers.

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