Members of the U.S. military are now more than welcome to ask and/or tell.
The Pentagon formally repealed its ban on gays and lesbians in uniform on Tuesday at 12:01 a.m., allowing soldiers for the first time to reveal they are homosexual without fear of official retribution.
The end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been in the works for months, but the formal repeal of the nearly 18-year-old law comes with what the Defense Department says is a zero-tolerance policy for anti-gay behavior that is on par with similar stances on religious, racial and gender discrimination.
Congress signed off on a repeal of the law in December, but gave military leaders time to retrain their soldiers to ensure that the change would not adversely impact the military.
"No one should be left with the impression that we are unprepared," Pentagon spokesman George Little said Monday, the Associated Press reports. “We are prepared for repeal. The force is well aware that this is coming."