US Military Begins Taking Applications From Gay Recruits

The Defense Department said Friday it would start accepting applications from gay military recruits after a federal appeals court ordered it to stop enforcing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

In a memo to the secretaries of the military branches, Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, directed them to comply with the court injunction immediately.

"It remains the policy of the Department of Defense not to ask service members or applicants about their sexual orientation, to treat all members with dignity and respect, and to ensure maintenance of good order and discipline," the memorandum read in part. "Further, because the injunction is once again in effect, the department will process applications for enlistment or appointment without regard to sexual orientation."

The Pentagon has also ordered a halt to all separations of gay troops, according to the Army Times.

The order came two days after a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered the U.S. government to immediately cease enforcing the law barring openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces. The appeals court noted that Congress repealed the policy in December and that the Pentagon is preparing to certify that it is ready to welcome gay military personnel.

It remains unclear whether the Pentagon will appeal Wednesday's ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, though an appeal seems unlikely since the Obama administration already is committed to repealing the rule.

Gay rights advocates said without an appeal, the government now is barred from discharging gay or lesbian service members anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, defense officials will continue to prepare for the law’s formal repeal, which will be 60 days after the defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs “certify” that it will not adversely impact military readiness, the Army Times reported.

The Department of Defense issued a 1982 policy stating that homosexuality was incompatible with military service. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was introduced as a compromise measure in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, who campaigned on the promise to allow all citizens to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation.

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  • by Eric Location: Chocowinity on Jul 12, 2011 at 02:11 PM
    So sick of this. It shouldn't matter who you love in the military, so long as you want to serve your country. We stopped discriminating against the blacks and women years/decades ago in the service for the same reason. Remember, the more volunteers accepted, the less likely they are to reinstate the draft. Because, you know, if they need more boots on the ground, they'll get 'em there. As to the prejudiced, if you're not racist and/or sexist as well, you're a hypocrite. Being gay is no more different than being born black or female. It's just something that's coded into DNA. It's time some of you got rid of your white robes and masked dunce caps.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 10, 2011 at 06:15 AM
    Then become a priest, Brandon. Stop preaching your morality to the masses.
  • by Brandon Location: Creswell on Jul 10, 2011 at 01:35 AM
    In reply to Anon @ 11:11pm : So let me get this straight. You say we are homophobic. I say bs. We hate top see a man kiss another man and a woman kiss another woman. Much less a man with another man commiting sodomy. That is exactly what it is. It is not only dirty perverted but against the freaking law. How can they legalize the marriage part when the sodomy is against the law ?? It is pure nastiness. The bleading heart liberals will next say it is legal for beastiology.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 9, 2011 at 08:11 PM
    Homophobic hypocrites.
  • by Mike Location: Edenton on Jul 9, 2011 at 06:18 PM
    .... the beginning of the end. One only needs study the decline of the Roman Empire and ancient Greek civilization.
  • by T Maxx Location: G-vegas on Jul 9, 2011 at 06:14 PM
    I the slippery slope continue and the goes to heck in a hand basket. Society had lost its moral value you system. So goes this country, sad state of fairs.
  • by Brandon Location: Creswell on Jul 9, 2011 at 04:45 PM
    This is crazy. I wonder what kind of policies the military will inact to deal with the situations that will arrise from this ruling. Young privates sweating other young privates in the showers in boot camp and such mess as that.
  • by Pete Location: grifton on Jul 9, 2011 at 04:24 PM
    sign them all up then ship them to Afganistan. show what you can do boys or was that who you can do boys.
  • by Retired Army Location: Greenville on Jul 9, 2011 at 11:25 AM
    The Men an Women of our Armed Forces need to worry about the fight in front of them not worry about what could be happen be hind them.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 9, 2011 at 11:22 AM
    ...and so, America's downward spiral continues.
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