WASHINGTON – A former Army captain who was dismissed under a federal law dealing with gays and lesbians in the military, lost his appeal at the Supreme Court Monday.
James Pietrangelo and 11 other veterans had sued the government over the "don't ask/ don't tell" law passed in 1993.
He was the only one who appealed to the high court, but the justices without comment refused to intervene.
The provision forbids those in the military from openly acknowledging or revealing their homosexuality, and prevents the government from asking individual soldiers and sailors about their sexual orientation.
The Obama administration had asked the high court not to take the case, and White House officials had said they would not object to homosexuals being kicked out of the armed services.
During the presidential campaign last year, Obama said he supported throwing out the federal law, but has taken no specific action on the controversy.
The Justice Department said in a high court filing the law was "rationally related to the government's legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion."
A federal appeals court in Boston had ruled against Pietrangelo, essentially ending his legal efforts. But a San Francisco-based federal appeals court ruled partially in favor of Maj. Margaret Witt, allowing her lawsuit against the Pentagon to move ahead. Those judges said the Air Force must prove the dismissal of the flight nurse would ensure troop readiness and cohesion.
There is no pending legislation in Congress to change or repeal the "don't ask/ don't tell" law.
The current case is Pietrangelo v. Gates (08-824).