“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ruled unconstitutional
Early Friday morning, the Pentagon instructed recruiters to accept openly gay individuals into the armed services. The announcement comes after months of discussion on the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, culminating in a ruling by a federal court that rejection based on sexual orientation is unconstitutional.
The recruiters are not allowed to ask individuals, but if all other requirements are met and candidates openly declare themselves gay, they must be accepted into service.
However, according to spokesperson Cynthia Smith, applicants must be reminded that the ruling may be overturned in the coming months.
In response, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network submitted a statement.
“During this interim period of uncertainty, service members must not come out and recruits should use caution if choosing to sign up,” said SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis in the statement. “The bottom line: if you come out now, it can be used against you in the future by the Pentagon.”
Several former servicemen and women who were discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are taking the opportunity to rejoin.
“Once a Marine, always a Marine,” said Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, a corporal who was honorably discharged in February 2008.
The government is expected to go to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the issue.
More than one million French workers have participated in recent nationwide demonstrations, cnn.com said, protesting government plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62 and full pension payments from 65 to 67.
The French Senate adopted new rules Thursday to speed up voting on the controversial pension reform bill that would bring about these changes. Their version could pass as soon as Friday, meaning a final version could be sent to the president as soon as next week.
The French government says the changes are necessary to save money, but many of France’s young citizens are concerned. They worry about their ability to get jobs if the older generation holds onto jobs for two more years.
The ongoing strike, which followed a series of one-day strikes this month and last month, has crippled transportation and affected schools and fuel supplies. So far, 428 people have been arrested in connection to the protests.