WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates is reminding troops that "don't ask, don't tell" will remain military policy for at least a while longer, despite a historic Senate vote on Saturday to overturn it.
Under the bill approved by a Senate vote of 65-31, the president and Pentagon must first certify that lifting the ban won't hurt troops' ability to fight. After that, the military will undergo a 60-day wait period before any changes are made.
In a statement, Gates said he will begin the process immediately. But, he added, certification won't come until after "careful consultation" with the military service chiefs and combatant commanders.