The Pentagon announced Friday that it is suspending its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of banning openly gay servicemen and women.
The Army Times reports that the Department of Defense will comply with a Ninth Circuit ruling earlier this week that ordered the military to halt the policy.A memo obtained by Fox5 Atlanta, issued by the U.S. Undersecretary Of Defense For Personnel And Readiness, orders military leaders to comply with the ruling, and says that the Department of Defense will begin to “process applicants for enlistment or appointment without regard to sexual orientation.”
“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 memo said.
The announcement came after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier in the week ordered the federal government to stop enforcing DADT, citing the government’s recent opposition to policies like DOMA that discriminate based on sexuality.
In October a lower court ruled that DADT is unconstitutional, but after Congress in December voted to repeal the policy, the Ninth Circuit granted the government a stay so it could be repealed according to the military’s own timeframe. The court lifted the stay on Wednesday.
The policy will be formally repealed 60 days after top military officials “certify” that it won’t affect military readiness.