The Pentagon is expected to announce Thursday that it will relax enforcement of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prevent gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military, a decision that officials described as a temporary measure until Congress can take permanent action.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to announce that the military will no longer investigate the sexual orientation of service members based on anonymous complaints, will restrict testimony from third parties and will require high-ranking officers to review all cases, according to The Washington Post.
Officials said the new steps would include a requirement that only a general or admiral could initiate action in cases where service members were suspected of violating the prohibition against openly gay service in the armed forces.
The new measures would make good on Gates’s pledge to Congress last month that the military would move toward enforcing the current policy in a fairer, more humane manner.
“The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we best prepare for it,” Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee last month. “We have received our orders from the Commander in Chief and we are moving out accordingly.”
President Obama called for Congress to repeal the law during his State of the Union address on January 21.