The Pentagon has ordered a halt to all separations of gay and lesbian service members under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” complying with a ruling this week in federal court that ordered an immediate halt to the ban’s enforcement.
The U.S. military will begin accepting applications from prospective recruits who identify themselves as homosexuals, reported Army Times.
The moratorium issued Friday came after a ruling Wednesday by a federal appeals court in California ordering the Defense Department to immediately stop enforcing the law. The court said the law is unconstitutional because it treats gay Americans differently under the law.
Meanwhile, defense officials will continue to prepare for the law’s formal repeal, which Congress approved in December. The law will be formally repealed 60 days after the defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs “certify” that it will not adversely impact military readiness.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he expected certification to occur in late July or early August.
On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the U.S. government to immediately halt enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the military ban on openly gay service members.
The ruling lifts the stay of a lower court ruling that found the policy unconstitutional.
The Pentagon said it will comply with the court order and is “taking immediately steps to inform the field of this order,” Pentagon spokesman Marine Col. Dave Lapan said in statement Wednesday.