“Don’t ask, don’t tell” – the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the US military – comes to end September 20. Public attitudes have shifted dramatically since it came into force 18 years ago.
Pentagon officials told Congress on Friday that 'don't ask don't tell' – regulations prohibiting the service of openly gay or lesbian troops – could cease being military policy within six months.
Despite a comprehensive study on the subject, the Pentagon offers few specifics about how it will implement the 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal. The process could begin this month.
A new Pentagon regulation requires the 'personal approval' of one of a select few senior officials to enforce 'don't ask, don't tell.' The policy likely will hinder the removal of openly gay service members from the military.
A federal judge refuses to suspend last week's ruling that the Pentagon must stop enforcement of 'don't ask, don't tell.' So the Pentagon says it will comply and accept openly gay recruits. But it cautions that the ruling is being appealed.
Its lawyers warned that the military could be 'irreparably' harmed by a court order to stop enforcing the ban on openly gay troops. Still, around Pentagon halls, it's clear an end to 'don't ask, don't tell' is coming.