With significant momentum building to repeal the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell policy," it is appropriate that new rules make it harder to discharge gay and lesbian troops.
Both Robert Gates, secretary of defense, and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Starr, recently testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that they favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. That view reflects a growing consensus among many active and retired military brass.
The Pentagon now is reviewing how the law should be repealed. That review is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 1.
In the meantime, however, it would be unfair to continue to aggressively enforce "don't ask, don't tell" if the intent is to repeal the law. To that end, the Department of Defense recently announced stricter guidelines for discharging gay and lesbian service members, especially those who are involuntarily "outed" by others.
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