Military Recruiters Told They Can Accept Openly Gay Applicants

The Pentagon has advised recruiting commands that they can accept openly gay and lesbian recruit candidates, given the recent federal court decision that bars the military from expelling openly gay service members, according to a Pentagon spokeswoman.

The guidance from the Personnel and Readiness office was sent to recruiting commands on Friday, according to spokeswoman Cynthia Smith. The recruiters were told that if a candidate admits he or she is openly gay, and qualify under normal recruiting guidelines, their application can be processed. Recruiters are not allowed to ask candidates if they are gay as part of the application process.
The notice also reminded recruiters that they have to ""manage expectations"" of applicants by informing them that a reversal of the court decision might occur, whereby the ""don't ask, don't tell"" policy could be reinstated, Smith said.
Federal Judge Virginia Phillips in California is expected to decide Tuesday whether she will stay her injunction against ""don't ask, don't tell"" at the request of the government, which is appealing her ruling. Phillips, who ruled in September that the policy is unconstitutional, indicated in court on Monday she is unlikely to stay her ruling, in which case the government will ask the appeals court to do so.Groups representing gays and lesbians have warned against coming out to the military because the policy is still being appealed in courts."