Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Adm. Michael Mullen, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced at a press conference on Thursday the major changes which essentially makes pressing charges against a homosexual soldier more difficult, reported USA Today.
The changes ensure that third-party information and hearsay are not included when examining a soldier's sexuality. Also, the bar has been raised on the rank of officer who can authorize investigations and discharges.
The new procedures will be enacted across the entire military immediately. Although, many Democratic lawmakers, including the president and Sen. Carl Levin, call for a full repeal of the exclusive policy.
In response to the calls for repeal, Mullen and Gates said that it is important to wait for results from a governmental research study about the policy due to for completion in December in order to make a comprehensive decision.