(AP) – A look at some military rules following repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy,” which for 18 years meant troops could be kicked out if they revealed their homosexual orientation.
–A person’s orientation _ or revealing it _ is no longer a bar to entering the service and can’t be used expel someone.
–Those discharged under the former policy may apply for re-entry and will be evaluated according to the same standards as all other applicants for re-entry.
–Existing standards of conduct continue to apply to all service members regardless of sexual orientation. “All service members are responsible for upholding and maintaining the high standards of the U.S. military at all times and in all places,” a Defense Department fact sheet says.
–The creation of separate bathroom facilities or living quarters based on sexual orientation is prohibited, and commanders may not establish practices that physically segregate service members according to sexual orientation.
–Troops continue to have some benefits for which they may designate beneficiaries, regardless of sexual orientation, such as for life insurance policies. Some other procedures are still being reviewed. And eligibility for a number of other benefits is restricted by law, including the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which says marriage is between one man and one woman.
–The military cannot request, collect, or maintain information about the sexual orientation of service members except when it is an essential part of an otherwise appropriate investigation or other official action.
–Service members can’t get out of the military by saying they oppose the repeal or oppose serving with gay troops.
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