Defense Sec. Robert Gates is, at this moment, leading a Pentaon briefing where he’s laying out the new rules for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell dismissals. You already know what to expect, and by refusing to launch new investigations into a soldier’s sexuality based on third-party information, the Pentagon will supposedly leave alone 1-in-5 outings. (That means some 80 percent of gay soldiers’ sexuality is made known voluntarily.) What the new rules still don’t allow for: Soldiers to put photos in their bunks of their partners; to use the accurate gender pronouns when referring to their partners; to tell comrades about upcoming wedding anniversaries; to go to gay bars without the fear of being spotted. You know, because that sort of thing is still the fault of gay soldiers.
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There was, evidently, some debate about whether a one-star or a two-star officer should be required to initiate a formal investigation. Gates says he was “comfortable” giving the ability to one-stars; the important part was “that we elevated this to people who have a lot of experience and have a lot of maturity.” And anyone testifying about a gay soldier’s sexuality will have to do it under oath, and they’ll look skeptically on anyone reporting a gay with a motivation to harm him.
Here’s Lawrence Korb, of the Center for American Progress, explaining why DADT remains an embarrassing part of American history.