ABC News' Luis Martinez reports: As part of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell injunction military recruiters have been told to not ask military applicants if they’re gay, more importantly, if the applicant volunteers that they’re gay, it’s not a problem, the application can go forward. However, openly gay recruits are also being warned that the court’s injunction could be reversed, the same warning issued to gay servicemembers last week. FYI: processing an applicant’s paperwork can usually take months.
It’s been a very confusing week for the Pentagon to try and figure out how a federal judge’s injunction of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would impact their operations. It took them two days to put together guidance to legal officers and the service chiefs that DOD would comply with the judge’s injunction while it appeals the decision. The guidance that went out last Friday basically told the services not to ask about sexual orientation and cautioned gay servicemembers not to step forward as being gay because if the ruling’s overturned DADT would go back into place.
Pentagon spokesperson Cynthia Smith says top personnel chief Cliff Stanley sent another memo on Friday to the recruiting commands telling them to suspend the DADT instructions for new military applicants.
Here’s what she says: -- Recruiters have been given guidance, and they will process applications for applicants who admit they are openly gay or lesbian. -- Recruiters are reminded 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. -- On Oct. 15, Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley sent a memorandum reinforcing DoD's policy not to ask service members or applicants about their sexual orientation, to treat all members with dignity and respect, and to ensure maintenance of good order and discipline.
The news has prompted gay activist and former Army Lieutenant Dan Choi to tweet that he’s headed to the Times Square Recruiting Station in Manhattan to apply to become a Marine while stating that he’s openly gay. Choi was discharged from the Army National Guard earlier this year under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law after he’d come out as gay on an MSNBC news show in 2009.
Under the guidance sent out because of the DADT injunction, military recruiters would have to take his application.
Here are his tweets:
Walking through Chelsea about to enlist; reminded of our beautiful diversity. This is what makes America worth defending. 20 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone I'm gonna try to enlist in the Marines today. Anyone else can meet me at NYC Times Sq now. about 1 hour ago via Twitter for iPhone I'm headed to the Times Square Recruiting Station. http://bit.ly/94JZuE #DADT about 2 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone