March 24th, 2010
01:01 PM ET

Source: Pentagon set to ease policy on gays in the military

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to announce changes Thursday easing the Defense Department's controversial "don't ask don't tell" policy prohibiting homosexuals from serving openly in the military, a senior Defense Department official has confirmed to CNN.

The official said one of the changes will be that outings by third parties may no longer be automatic grounds for initiating separation proceedings, especially if it is proven that the person making the allegation has a grudge against the military member.

Gates' announcement will focus on regulatory changes that can be made at the Pentagon without the approval of Congress, which has been debating whether to change the law. President Barack Obama has asked for a repeal of the controversial measure.

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Filed under: Gay and lesbian
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Henry Flynn

    Have the leaders, who are about to change the policy toward gays, asked the military members who are NOT gay, what they think about the change? I suspect NOT. The leaders are trying to be PC regarding the gays because they know that whatever they decide the military member have to obey the policy. Therefore, the very people are might be negatively effected by the change, are not even considered. They must make the gays happy! They don't have to worry about making or keeping the other members happy!
    I know that military leaders are not required to make everyone happy. In fact, members don't have to like what their leaders do, they just have to deal with their decisions. That is one big reason why I retired when I did. I had my time in and I got tired of the PC world of the military. Women came into the military 10 years before I could retire, but when my time came, that way an escape. I don't agree with gays in the military, unless they have ttheir own unit or ship because, they are abuses that will take place and the military will stick up for the gays because it is the PC thing to do! Women in the military, in some cases, are OK, but mostly, they take advantage to the men, men will cover for them so that they don't have to work so hard. Favors are made all the time and there's nothing anyone can do because the leaders will protect the women!

    March 24, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Actually, military leaders HAVE asked members how we feel about gays serving openly in the military and the majority of us don't care. Your views are old, antiquated, and frankly don't apply at all to today's military. We're a completely different service now.

      March 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LOrion

    Well they could certainly start enforcing the Niinth Circuit Courts judgments and suspend all NINTH Circuit cases.

    March 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. News Watcher

    It's about time. Too many people associate a person's sexual orientation with that person's ability to do a job correctly, just as the color of one's skin used to be associated with intelligence. Glad to hear that that military is finally starting to realize that gays can fight and protect our freedoms just as well as straights.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike Schwab

    They should allow them to serve as long as they don't cause problems with co-workers.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Andrew H

    I work in education, and I'm gay (notice the order). I've never once "hit on" a co-worker because I respect the boundaries of professionalism. If one of our men or women in uniform can't respect those boundaries as well, then that's a seperate issue than their sexual orientation.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin M.

    Actually Henry, the US military has been conducting research and questioning sessions with members of the US military since DADT was enacted, determining the services people's feelings on the matter. So yes they have asked the non-gay service members what they think about it.

    As a former soldier myself, I can tell you that in the reality of the military it never really matters to most of us who/or what you sleep with as long as you do your job. Your job is to work within the authority structure and to protect your unit members and they protect and support you. Thus as long as you keep me safe I don't give a rats rear who you sleep with, because in the field its not about that. Moreover, those who are currently in the military and who have served long before DADT served with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and so forth people. THe only difference know is they don't have to hide part of themselves a deal with the double trauma of war and dealing with their constant need to hide.

    I say we need to completely abolish DADT and move on, its the 21st century already.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. runMonkeyMama

    "They should allow them to serve as long as they don't cause problems with co-workers."

    Shouldn't that apply to anyone who serves? Or anyone who works anywhere?

    This is a step in the right direction, but it's not all the way there yet. There's just no good reason to force anyone to pretend they're something they are not just so that they can serve the contry they love.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chris

    Apparently some people don't realize that there are already an estimated 66,000 gay people currently serving. The fact is, when DADT is repealed, it will not affect anyone, except the gay and lesbian servicemembers who will no longer have to lie about what they did last weekend. No longer have to worry about being kicked out if someone sees them take their girlfriend to a movie. No longer be kicked out for putting a family photo on their desk. No longer have to go through what my friend Marcus did, when his boyfriend left him while he was deployed in Iraq and he had to hide his depression, rather than seek counseling. It is wrong to hold hetero soldiers to one standard, and gay soldiers to another. And to all those who complain that this will "disrupt our military and cause sexual assaults, I say look at what happened when our allies (25 of them) lifted THEIR bans. Absolutely NOTHING.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ethan

    Why is the USA the last developed country to address "problems" like this? And health care?

    Oh, now I remember why. Because the Republican Party and its teabagging sisters and groups like FreedomWorks, the Club For Growth, and Family Research Council have a CONCERTED POLICY to keep us from the change that would bring us into MODERNITY.

    The Right Wing political machine is a disgrace to this great country and our great people.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David from CA

    "Have the leaders, who are about to change the policy toward gays, asked the military members who are NOT gay, what they think about the change? I suspect NOT."

    And how, exactly, would THAT work under the current policy?

    March 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chuckles

    You people act like there aren't soldiers, gay and straight, getting freaky right now. I have several family members in the military, they have heard and seen it all. All the repeal of DADT would do is force people to come to terms with their own prejudices. It wouldn't encourage anything that our military forces aren't already doing. They are human, after all.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bill Sterling

    I am gay and a career military member. Nobody cares about sexual orientation. The old argument that unit cohesion and morale will suffer if they lift the ban is pure nonsense. It doesn't usually take much to figure out who is gay and serving, and people just don't care. It's the older generations that have the hang ups and those generations are pretty much retired out or discharged. Any old blowhard on Capital Hill is out of step with the military of today. Thank you for those who are intelligent enough to know this whole law is stupid.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bill SterlingIs Awesom

    Bill Sterling, you are awesome. Thank you for your comment.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Douglas Vogt

    Harry Truman didn't ask the white troupes what they thought about Blacks in the milatery.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Patrick

    I have served (and still do serve) with lots of gay military members, and almost all have been respectful and professional, just like almost all of their straight counterparts. There are already high standards with regard to conduct in the military; they don't change if gays are allowed to serve. We get it: no fraternization with people above and below you in the chain of command. (i.e., "Don't go fishing off the company pier") What I care most about is 1) whether someone does their job well, and 2) that everyone is treated fairly and equally. Now, about sexual harassment against women in the military...

    March 24, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
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