March 25th, 2010
09:45 AM ET

Gates eases ban on gays in the military

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Thursday that the Pentagon will start to ease its enforcement of the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy prohibiting homosexuals from serving openly in the military.

Among other things, Gates said the Pentagon is raising the threshold for what constitutes an appropriate level of information necessary to launch a "credible inquiry" into allegations of homosexual behavior.

The change is reflection of "common sense" and "common decency," Gates said.

President Barack Obama and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, support a legislative repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," which was  first enacted in 1993. Some senior members of the military, however, have expressed concern over the impact of the ban's repeal on unit cohesion and  morale, among other things.

What are your thoughts on the policy?

– CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. George

    This is the 21st. century and denying the right of homosexual people to serve in the military is now and has been a disgrace. If someone chooses to join the military, fight and possibly die, their sexual orientation shouldn't come into question. Whatever they practice in their personal lives does not prevent them for wanting to serve their country. For that alone they should be praised and not condemned. Being gay or straight doesn't cause one to love this nation and be willing to die for that love. Therefore, in my humble opinion, eliminate the "don't ask don't tell" policy completely and allow everyone, straight or gay, to serve the nation they love.

    March 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Charlie Holland

    I was enlisted in the US Army for eight years 1984-1992. Even at the for front of the "Don't Ask-Don't Tell Policy" we knew there were gays and lesbians in the ranks. It was understood and even acccepted to a degree. However, there was a line that was not to be crossed. I support the comments of others in that we need to live and let live. I hold no reservations in this debate if an inividual no matter his/her lifestyle preference is ready to raise their right hand and take an oath to defend this country. Blood runs red no mater the race, creed, relegion and or lifestyle. I will say, I have no use for the comments made by Lady Gaga or any other self righteous individual who has zero comprehension of what it is to serve and have served this country.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
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