The military policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) has been repealed and gays and lesbians will now have the same rights as other people serving in the U.S. military.
Under the policy, officers could not ask about the sexual orientation of service members, but if gay and lesbian service members revealed their sexual orientation, they could be discharged from the military. The repeal of DADT will allow gay and lesbian service members to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of discrimination.
On Saturday, the Senate voted to repeal DADT, as did the House earlier. President Barack Obama will sign the bill to end the sexual orientation discrimination on Wednesday.
Although DADT is officially dead, it will be some time before the new policy is fully integrated into military regulations. In the interest of maintaining troop order and discipline in a time of war, for now, military commanders will have flexibility in how they apply the law.
According to the Los Angeles Times, military commanders say that, until further notice, DADT is still in effect. The Pentagon is not sure yet how long it will take to fully implement the new regulations.
Obama to sign repeal of military gay ban, but Pentagon will write the rules to carry it out (Los Angeles Times)