Thousands of East Bay residents, gay and straight, celebrated last year’s gay rights triumphs on Sunday at Oakland’s second annual Gay Pride Festival. A landmark year in gay rights, 2011 saw the elimination of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the policy that banned openly gay personnel from serving in the military.

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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the policy that forbids gays from serving openly in the military, is now being enforced again, after a federal appellate court granted the Justice Department’s request to keep the policy in place while a case challenging its constitutionality is being decided.

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don't ask don't tell, military, injunction, Judge Virginia Phillips, Oakland Pride Inc.

The military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, passed by Congress in 1993, prohibits those who are openly gay from serving in the armed forces. Last week, a federal judge ordered an injunction putting a temporary halt to the policy and on Monday issued a tentative ruling to uphold that injunction. With the judge’s ruling, local Navy vet Michael Hughes said, Americans are “one step closer to liberty and justice for all.”

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