December 22nd, 2010
03:00 PM ET

Headlines aside, 'don't ask, don't tell' stays in place

Larry Shaughnessy
CNN Pentagon Producer

Washington (CNN) - When President Obama signed the bill repealing the so-called "don't ask, don't tell" policy, it did not immediately end the military's 17-year ban on gays serving openly.

In fact, it will take a series of actions to make that happen, and no one at the Pentagon seems to know when the actual end date might be.

"I don't think anybody has any idea how long this will take," Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters Monday.

Even gays currently serving, albeit quietly, had muted reactions to the Senate's vote to end the ban. Three such service members, speaking to CNN on the condition we wouldn't use their real names, all used the word "relief" when asked about the repeal.

Before the ban is completely lifted, the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will have to certify that the repeal can move ahead without negatively affecting unit cohesion and military readiness.

And before that can happen, the Department of Defense will have to go through countless regulations and rules to see if they need to be changed to reflect the end of the ban. Clifford Stanley, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, will oversee that part of the process, with input from the individual services. He and his staff will be "reviewing and revising policies, directives, establishing the education and training materials, developing communication plans on how we are going to communicate with the force."

That's where the mystery begins as far as the timing.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Gay & Lesbian Issues
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    Dear CNN,
    A law is a law and unless its challenged in the Supreme Court (unlikely) it protects anybody from the day it is signed.
    The guidelines that within the military rules, guidance, and USMCJ all would take time to implement was recognised in the bill itself.
    This is a none news article.
    Even the Military must abide by Congressional laws. They have known this was coming for months half the work is probably already done, and it did not take long to implement DADT so it should not take long to Undo as we know how USMCJ was amended and all other areas; just remove the original additions/amendments!?
    It is only news if the process takes more than 2 months after Xmas and new year.

    December 23, 2010 at 3:49 am |
  2. John

    wow DADT this country has gone to hell, God will judge this on our country and our Soldiers will do just as they are told, accept it or get out, thats the Military way.

    December 22, 2010 at 9:19 pm |