The Defense Department will next week start the process of repealing the ban on gay people serving openly in the military—a process expected to last years, reports the AP.
A special investigation into how the ban can be lifted without hurting morale or readiness of the troops is expected to be announced Tuesday by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That review, which will look at sticky issues like whether a soldier can decline to have a gay roommate, and how to insure that gay troops aren't passed over for promotion, is likely to take most of this year to complete.
President Obama received a standing ovation from some members of Congress, and Gates, during his State of the Union address when he announced that "don't ask, don't tell" would be lifted. "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are," Obama said. "It's the right thing to do."