After 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Is Repealed, What's Next?


Tuesday: Former U.S. Air Force Major Michael D. Almy (L) hugs House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, after she signed legislation repealing "don't ask, don't tell." It's now on the president's desk, awaiting his signature today.

President Obama, as Korva noted earlier, is due to sign the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy barring openly gay men and women from serving in the Armed Forces at 9:15 a.m. ET. The White House will webcast the event here, and we'll be back to live-blog as it happens.

On Morning Edition, NPR's Rachel Martin talked with guest host Linda Wertheimer about some of the frequently asked questions that members of the military and others have been asking about what happens once don't ask, don't tell is completely phased out — and the answers that the Pentagon has been giving.

For instance, Linda asked, will partners of gay service members get the health and other benefits available to spouses?

"That was asked a lot during the debate" over repeal, Rachel said. The answer: No, they won't. "The military is hewing close to the federal law on this ... they're not recognizing gay marriage. Instead, they're treating gay couples like heterosexual unmarried couples, who don't get benefits either."

Will gay members of the military have separate living quarters? No, Rachel says. "Military officials say doing so would create divisions."

Source: NPR