Gates Seeks to Make 'Don't Ask' More Humane

Military may not boot gays outed by jilted lovers, blackmailers
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2009 12:21 PM CDT
Defense Secretary Robert Gates takes part in a news conference at the Pentagon, June 18, 2009.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The Obama administration is looking for ways to get around the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that forbids gays from serving openly in the military, CNN reports. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he is investigating ways to make the policy “more humane,” such as not dismissing service members who are outed as an act of blackmail or by a jilted lover.

Gates echoed the administration’s sentiment that the law would eventually be changed, but noted that, “it’s a very prescriptive law. It doesn’t leave much to the imagination.” Only Congress can repeal it, and the Pentagon does not yet support a full repeal. Nonetheless, a spokesman says the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “supports the idea of a less draconian way of enforcing the policy."