13 Oct 2010

US Defence Secretary warns over abrupt halt to 'Don't ask, don't tell'

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has warned a court-ordered halt of a ban on openly gay military personnel could have "enormous consequences".

A day after a judge halted the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, Mr Gates said he preferred that Congress, not a court, settle the issue.

gay soldiers

Under the policy, gay people can serve in the military but face expulsion if their sexuality is revealed.

A legislative bid to overturn the ban failed in the US Senate last month.

"I feel strongly this is an action that needs to be taken by the Congress and that it is an action that requires careful preparation, and a lot of training," Mr Gates said. "It has enormous consequences for our troops."

BBC News