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Gay Advocate Says "Don't Tell" Despite Pentagon Rule Change

Man at Don't Ask Don't Tell protest
Image courtesy Flickr user M.V. Jantzen
An unidentified man at a Washington, DC rally in March 2010 calling on Congress to repeal "don't ask don't tell"

A Pentagon spokesperson is telling media that military recruiters can now accept openly gay and lesbian applicants. The order follows a ruling by a federal judge that struck down the military's "don't ask don't tell" rule. CNN talked to the spokesperson:

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.

 But an Austin lawyer who sits on the board of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is urging military men and women who are gay or lesbian to keep it under wraps.

"I think that it is not at all safe for any potential recruit to come out during the recruiting process until the unconstitutional 'don't ask don't tell' law is repealed," Austin attorney Anne Wynne told KUT News.  "If you say that you're gay, then that could be used against you and it may end up costing you a job that you might be able to get once this law is repealed."

Wynne, who is also on the board of Equality Texas, says gay rights advocates are urging the US Senate to take up the issue as soon as November elections are over, and pass a law that repeals 'don't ask don't tell'.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.