Defense Secretary Robert Gates has announced that the Pentagon will soften its policy of not allowing openly homosexual individuals to serve in the military.
Gates said that anonymous, third party complaints will no longer trigger an investigation under the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. With the new guidelines, which will go into effect in 30 days, informants must present complaints under oath and each case needs to be reviewed by a senior officer at the level of a one-star general or higher. Military leaders are also advised to ignore complaints based on simple hearsay.
Furthermore, military personnel can no longer be expelled from any branch of the armed forces based on information provided to lawyers, clergy and psychotherapists, CNN reports.
“I believe these changes represent an important improvement in the way the current law is put into practice, above all by providing a greater measure of common sense and common decency,” said Gates.
Meanwhile, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that the new guidelines undermine the enforcement of the law, which Gates admitted can only be repealed by Congress.
“The new regulations only invite open defiance of the law which was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton,” concluded Perkins.