The pentagon has announced that it’s suspended all discharges under the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ ban on gays in the military and will now start accepting gay and lesbian recruits.
This comes in the wake of last week’s appeals court ruling barring the US military from enforcing the ban.
“The Pentagon has ordered a halt to all separations of gay troops under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and will begin accepting applications from prospective recruits who identify themselves as homosexuals,” reported the Army Times on Friday.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis welcomed the news, but described it as a “temporary suspension” and urged the Pentagon to go further by suspending all investigations of service members that are currently ongoing.
He also called on the Pentagon to confirm that the Department of Defense and Department of Justice are not preparing to appeal the court’s ruling.
“It’s imperative for service members, gay and straight, who have been living with ambiguity for far too long as this process has languished unnecessarily. The time for clarity and finality is long overdue,” Sarvis said.
Adding some confusion to the Pentagon’s news, activist and blogger Jim Pietrangelo claimed that he had contacted the Los Angeles Central Army recruiting station twice on Friday and was told both times that he could not apply to join the army because he is gay.
While ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was repealed in December last year by the US Senate, the law has remained in force until training personnel on the issue is complete and a report on the repeal is accepted by the US government.