Top US official warns on ending military gay ban
Published 14/10/2010 | 05:00
US DEFENCE Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday that abruptly ending the US military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on gays as a federal judge has ordered will have enormous consequences.
The policy forbids the military from asking about a service member's sexual orientation but retains a ban on gays disclosing their status.
A day after a judge in California ordered the Pentagon to cease enforcement of its policy barring gays from openly serving in the military, Mr Gates told reporters that the question of whether to repeal the law should be decided by Congress, and only after the Pentagon completed its study of the issue.
"I feel strongly this is an action that needs to be taken by congress and that it is an action that requires careful preparation, and a lot of training," said Mr Gates. "It has enormous consequences for our troops."
The defence secretary said that besides the changes in training, regulations will need revisions and changes may be necessary. The White House said time was running out for the ban on gays serving openly. "This is a policy that is going to end," spokesman Robert Gibbs said yesterday.