Following a California federal court decision on October 12, the Defense Department has announced that openly gay men and women may now apply to join the military.
In her ruling, California judge, Virginia Phillips ordered the Department of Defense (DOD) to “immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation or other proceeding that may have commenced under the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Act or its implementing regulations,” citing the Act as unconstitutional.
Although the government has asked for a stay against the decision while military officials review how best to address the issue, Judge Phillips has said she is leaning against granting the stay. The working group, set up by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, is examining the “the far-ranging impacts of what changing the law would mean,” according to a DOD spokeswoman.
Depending on the results of the study, a reversal of the decision is still possible. Defense Department officials reminded recruiters to “set the applicants’ expectations by informing them that a reversal in the court’s decision of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law/policy may occur.”