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Pentagon Warns Against Coming Out 

Pentagon Warns Against Coming Out 


In a new memo a senior Pentagon personnel official warns service members against coming out despite a federal judge's order barring further enforcement of "don't ask, don't tell."

Under Secretary of Defense for personnel and readiness Clifford Stanley, who on Thursday filed a declaration to U.S. district judge Virginia A. Phillips in support of a stay of her injunction against DADT, wrote that service members "altering their personal conduct in this legally uncertain environment may [face] adverse consequences," Stars and Stripes reports.

Stanley's memo, in full:

"Yesterday, the Department of Justice filed an appeal from this injunction and the court's earlier decision that supports it, and is seeking a stay of the injunction while the appeal is pending. In the interim, the Department of Justice will abide by the terms of the injunction. It is possible that a stay of the injunction could be issued very soon, perhaps in a matter of days. In that event, I will issue additional guidance. The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall ensure immediate compliance with this memorandum.

"It remains the policy of the Department of Defense not to ask servicemembers or applicants about their sexual orientation, to treat all members with dignity and respect, and to ensure maintenance of good order and discipline. Further, in light of the appeal and the application for the stay, a certain amount of uncertainty now exists about the future of 'don't ask, don't tell' law and policy. We note for servicemembers that altering their personal conduct in this legally uncertain environment may have adverse consequences for themselves or others should the court's decision be reversed. The Department remains committed to the successful completion of the effort by the Comprehensive Review Working Group by December 1st to assess and consider the impacts a change in the "don't ask, don't tell" law could have on military readiness, effectiveness and unit cohesion."

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