WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday refused to halt enforcement of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy while its constitutionality is under appeal in federal court in California.
The justices, in a brief order, denied an appeal filed by the Log Cabin Republicans, who insisted that the ban on openly gay service members is unconstitutional and should be ended immediately.
The high court noted that Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the decision. There were no dissents.
The court's refusal to take up the issue now means it will be a year or two at least before the constitutional challenge can be finally resolved.
Congress could vote to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" in the lame-duck session, but Senate Republicans have so far blocked the issue from coming to a vote.
It is typical for federal judges to permit federal laws to stay in force while their constitutionality is challenged.
Cindy McCain joins the debate
Speaking in a video ad campaign aimed at ending the bullying of gay teenagers, Cindy McCain, wife of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., broke with her husband and called for a repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
In a new public service announcement she says: "Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future. They can't serve our country openly?" she said.
Her husband has described the policy as "imperfect but effective." His office did not return a call for comment.