The repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law is expected to take effect today.
Pentagon press secretary George Little said Monday that the military is adequately prepared for the end of the current policy, commonly known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” under which gays can serve as long as they don’t openly acknowledge their sexual orientation and commanders are not allowed to ask.
Repeal will take effect today at 12:01 a.m. EDT Tuesday, September 20th.
As soon as the ban is lifted, the DoD will publish revised regulations to reflect the new law that will allow gays to serve openly. The revisions, such as eliminating references to banned homosexual service, are in line with policy guidance that was issued by top Pentagon officials in January, after Obama signed the legislation that did away with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Recruiters are accepting applications from openly gay and lesbian applicants seeking to enlist in the military. While many changes in policies and regulations already have taken place, officials are waiting until the repeal has taken effect before processing the applications.
Some standards of conduct will stay implemented, such as public displays of affection, no matter the sexual orientation.
Service members who were discharged under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law will be allowed to re-enlist, but their applications will not be given priority over those of any others with prior military experience who are seeking to re-enlist.