National

Mar 25, 2010 11:16 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Discharging gays to draw more scrutiny in military

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he has approved a series of changes in how the Pentagon implements the law banning gays from serving openly in the military.

The changes would make it harder to discharge a gay person for violating the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy by putting higher-ranking officers in charge of discharge proceedings and tighter rules on evidence.

The new guidelines, which go into effect immediately, are considered a stopgap measure until Congress decides whether to go along with President Barak Obama's call for a repeal of the law.

Gates told a Pentagon news conference that relaxing enforcement of the law in the meantime is a matter of applying common sense and common decency on a difficult issue.

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