the don't tell show

Sec. Gates’ New Rules: Unless You Wave Around a Rainbow Flag, You Won’t Be Dismissed

Tomorrow, Defense Sec. Robert Gates is going to tell the world how, after consulting with the White House and his Pentagon buddies, he’s going to make Don’t Ask Don’t Tell less of a d-bag policy. Like, how?

No more dismissals of gay servicemembers unless they specifically out themselves and “leaves the chain of command no legal choice but to proceed” with a full investigation, relays Spencer Ackerman. That means third-party outings, such as the ones that got Sgt. Jene Newsome dismissed, are gone — but only for new cases; the new rules won’t apply retroactively. How the new policy would effect folks like Lt. Col Victor Fehrenbach, who was forced to come out to fend off false rape allegations, is TBD. But it’s pretty clear that self-outers, like Lt. Dan Choi, who came out on Rachel Maddow‘s television show, would still face dismissal.

Gates is expected to say the changes will “slow and/or reduce the number of discharges.”

Told you it’d be less asshole-y, but still asshole-y. Because the entire point of DADT was that it would protect gay servicemembers from being removed unless they outed themselves. So what you have here is a rectifying of the law’s overly broad interpretation that went beyond its spirit when President Bill Clinton signed it into law. But yeah, it’s a welcome change.