Military to Ease Off on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Gays outed by third parties won't be prosecuted
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Feb 2, 2010 6:48 AM CST
Updated Feb 2, 2010 7:41 AM CST
Gay rights advocates march by the White House in Washington, on Oct. 11, 2009.    (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – The military will no longer aggressively pursue disciplinary action against gay service members who are outed by a third party, the Pentagon will announce today. Under the new policy, gay personnel would face discharge only if they go public themselves on their sexual orientation. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, will also announce the creation of a group to investigate how to integrate openly gay members into the armed forces—a process expected to take a year.

For Obama, this is a step toward a promise kept, but gay rights campaigners worry that the group will take too long to decide, reports the Washington Post. Figures released yesterday show 428 people were discharged from the armed forces last year for violating "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," down from 619 people in 2008.