Three military veterans who were discharged under the law that prohibits gays from serving openly in uniform are suing the Department of Defense to be reinstated.

Their lawsuit filed Monday in federal district court in San Francisco also seeks a court order declaring the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable when it comes to any service members.

The legal action comes four days after the U.S. Senate for the second time this year blocked a military spending bill that also would have repealed the 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network director Aubrey Sarvis says the case is a warning to Congress that the courts could order an integration timetable that is less to the Pentagon’s liking.

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