The United States Department of Defense announced today that there will be modifications to the enforcement of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the law regulating the service of lesbians and gays in the military.
The modifications to the enforcement procedures are as follows:
- Only a general or flag officer may separate an enlisted member believed at the conclusion of an investigation to have engaged in homosexual conduct. Under previous policy, a colonel, or a captain in the Navy and Coast Guard, could order separation.
- Information provided by a third party now must be given under oath, discouraging the use of overheard statements and hearsay.
- Certain categories of confidential information, such as information provided to lawyers, clergy and psychotherapists, no longer will be used in support of discharges. Information provided to medical personnel in furtherance of treatment, or to a public-health official in the course of seeking professional assistance for domestic or physical abuse also is excluded, as well as information obtained in the process of security clearance investigations, in accordance with existing Pentagon policies.
The changes go into effect in 30 days.