Updated Friday, 4:20 p.m. EST
On Friday afternoon the Pentagon issued a moratorium on enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and will begin accepting openly-gay troops, according to the Army Times, due to this week's ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Details, the Pentagon's memo, and the first trickle of responses from the community, after the jump.
A copy of the Pentagon's order halting DADT enforcement and discharges reads:
"On July 6, 2011, a federal appellate court reinstated the injunction, originally issued on October 12,2010, ordering the Department of Defense to cease enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law (10 U.S.c. § 654) and implementing regulations. The reinstatement of that injunction (a copy of which accompanies this memorandum) is effective immediately. The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall ensure immediate compliance with the injunction and this memorandum. The appeal from the injunction remains pending."
Said Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith, "The Secretaries of the Military Departments shall ensure immediate compliance with the injunction."
The community has been swift with responsest trickling in.
From the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network:
"SLDN welcomes this temporary suspension of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' discharges in the wake of this week's court decision, but we urge the Pentagon to go further by suspending all investigations of service members that are currently ongoing, and confirm that the Department of Defense and Department of Justice are not preparing to appeal the court's ruling," said executive director Aubrey Sarvis. "It's imperative for service members, gay and straight, who have been living with ambiguity for far too long as this process has languished unnecessarily. The time for clarity and finality is long overdue."
The Palm Center:
"The Pentagon is lawfully and properly responding to a federal court's ruling, and today's news may bring some relief to gay and lesbian service members who continue to fear that they could be fired for who they are," says Palm Center director Aaron Belkin. "The last year has been an unnecessary and unhelpful roller coaster ride for the military and for gay troops and I do not believe that it is an overstatement to posit that with the exception of a tiny fringe, almost all Americans will welcome the permanent repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' when it comes."
Earlier Friday, the Army Times broke the news:
The Pentagon has ordered a halt to all separations of gay troops under “don’t ask, don’t tell” and will begin accepting applications from prospective recruits who identify themselves as homosexuals.
The moratorium issued Friday came after a ruling Wednesday by a federal appeals court in California ordering the Defense Department to immediately stop enforcing the law. The court said the law is unconstitutional because it treats gay Americans differently under the law.
Defense officials, however, will continue to wait for the official repeal of the law, which President Obama has hinted is right around the corner.