WASHINGTON – The Bush administration on Monday asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Pentagon's 11-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" (search) policy.
The government said last year's landmark Supreme Court ruling that overturned state laws making gay sex (search) a crime does not undercut the military's policy that allows gays and lesbians to serve as long as they abstain from homosexual activity and don't reveal their sexual orientation.
Courts previously have upheld the policy, approved by Congress and put in place by the Clinton administration.
"These decisions are unaffected by the Supreme Court's decision," the administration said in a filing in U.S. District Court in Boston, where the lawsuit was filed.
Twelve gays expelled from the military because of their sexual orientation filed the legal challenge in December, citing the Supreme Court ruling that state laws making homosexual sex a crime were unconstitutional. That decision overturned an earlier Supreme Court ruling that had upheld sodomy laws.
Two other lawsuits challenging the policy have been filed since the high court's reversal.
One was brought in California by the Log Cabin Republicans (search), a political organization for gays. The other was filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which generally deals with cases involving money. That plaintiff, who was separated from the Army, is seeking to recover his pension and is challenging the ban in the process.