The Pentagon announced Tuesday that it
will accept openly gay recruits, for now, the AP reported.
The rule change is a consequence of a
federal judge's ruling that found the military's ban on open gay
service to be unconstitutional and a subsequent injunction ordering
the Pentagon to stop enforcing the policy, known as “Don't Ask,
Don't Tell.” The 17-year-old law prescribes discharge for gay and
bisexual service members who do not remain celibate or closeted.
Arguing that a court-ordered repeal of
the policy would be “disruptive to military readiness,” the
government has requested U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips to
stay her order while it prepares an appeal. Phillips is expected to
deny the government's request on Tuesday.
The Pentagon is informing gay recruits
that the ruling could be reversed on appeal. Currently, the military
does not ask recruits their sexual orientation.
“If they were to self admit that they
are gay and want to enlist, we will process them for enlistment, but
will tell them that the legal situation could change,” Douglas
Smith, spokesman for U.S. Army Recruiting Command based at Fort Knox,
KY, told the news service.
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), warned gay troops
against revealing their sexual orientation.
“During this interim period of
uncertainty, service members must not come out and recruits should
use caution if choosing to sign up,” Sarvis said in a statement.
“The 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law is rooted in any statement of
homosexuality made at anytime and to anyone.”
“The bottom line: if you come out
now, it can be used against you in the future by the Pentagon,” he
A website that tracks
all reported instances of harm to unit cohesion, discipline and
privacy that arise as a result of open gay service went online
Monday. The website (enormousconsequences.com)
reports zero incidents as of Tuesday afternoon, seven days after the
military was ordered to stop enforcing the policy.