The U.S. Department of Defense is scheduled to release on Tuesday its research findings and report examining the effects of repealing the 1993 Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
The Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, which was introduced in 1993 by President Bill Clinton and was later enacted into a law, prevents the military to ask recruits their sexual orientation but in return, the service members can't openly say they are gay or lesbian, let it be known that they engage in homosexual acts or marry a member of the same sex.
The law was meant to replace a previous policy that allowed the military to ask recruits their sexual orientation and exclude gay men and women from joining the military based on the premise that homosexuality was incompatible with the military.
However, the law has led to the dismissal of over 13,500 service members to date and, though the annual rate of discharges have fallen dramatically over the years, rights activists want the law repealed. The government also wants to repeal the law but is waiting for the Congress to act.
In October, a California district court judge had ordered the military to immediately put a halt to all discharges and pending investigations under the policy after ruling that the policy was unconstitutional on grounds that it infringes the fundamental rights of United States service members and prospective service members and violates their rights of due process and freedom of speech.
However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a temporary stay to the government till the court consider fully the issues presented. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will be among those testifying on Dec. 2.
Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court also decided to keep the policy in place till the appeals court decides the matter.
The government claims it wants to repeal the policy but is waiting for a political remedy (i.e. it wants the Congress to repeal the policy) rather than a court-imposed one. But some groups feel the government isn't doing enough and is dragging its feet on the matter.