updated 4/28/2011 11:22:11 AM ET 2011-04-28T15:22:11

If a Marine spots two men in his battalion kissing off-duty at a shopping mall, he should react as if he were seeing a man and woman.

If he turns on the television news to see a fellow Marine dressed as a civilian and marching in a parade with a banner that reads, "Support Gays and Lesbians in the Military!" he should accept it as a free right of expression.

Prescriptions for those possible scenarios are being played out at Marine bases as the military prepares to allow gays to openly serve, ending a 17-year-old policy commonly known as "don't ask, don't tell." Training for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines began early this year and is expected to finish by summer's end.

The repeal goes into effect 60 days after the president, defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that lifting the ban won't hurt the military's ability to fight.

"These changes are about policy," states briefing material for Marine instructors. "The policy is about adherence to orders and behavior, and not about beliefs."

The latest round of training material asks Marines to consider their reactions to a wide range of scenarios, from seeing a member "hanging around" a gay bar to hearing locker-room jokes from others who refuse to shower in front of gays. Members of the 1st Marine Logistics Group report to class Thursday at Camp Pendleton.

There is nothing wrong with "hanging around" a gay bar, the materials state. The officer who witnesses the loud locker-room banter aimed at gays and lesbians should remind the Marines any discrimination or harassment is inappropriate.

'Obligated to follow orders'
For those who oppose the new policy, the Marine Corps says it doesn't expect anyone to change their personal beliefs. Still, everyone must follow orders.

"You remain obligated to follow orders that involve interaction with others who are gay or lesbian, even if an unwillingness to do so is based on strong, sincerely held moral or religious beliefs," the training material states.

A top-notch recruiter who opposes the new policy cannot refuse a promising applicant on grounds of sexual orientation but might be considered for another assignment and, at the discretion of the Navy secretary, may be granted early discharge.

Chaplains who preach at base chapels that homosexuality is a sin are entitled to express their religious beliefs during worship.

The Marines expect to finish training on the new policy by June 1, Gen. James Amos, the Marine Corps commandant, testified in Congress earlier this month.

Amos testified last year that permitting gays to openly serve could disrupt smaller combat units and distract leaders from preparing for battle. When he appeared this month before the House Armed Services Committee, he said he had been looking for problems that might arise under the new policy and hadn't found any "recalcitrant pushback."

"There has not been the anxiety over it from the forces in the field," he said.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Pelosi leads DADT repeal ceremony

  1. Closed captioning of: Pelosi leads DADT repeal ceremony

    >>> and the repeal of don't ask, don't tell is coming closer to being the law. just a short time ago house speaker nancy pelosi signed the bill in what's called an enrollment ceremony. enrollment is the last step before the bill goes on to president obama . nbc news white house correspondent mike viqueira joins me now. so, mike, we're looking at possibly tomorrow for the president to sign it?

    >> reporter: definitely tomorrow. they've already scheduled it. it's at an auditorium blocks from here, at the 9:00 hour the president will sign it. a large signing ceremony as you saw on capitol hill moments ago. a big crowd in the capitol visitors center auditorium to see the speaker of the house , in her capacity as speaker of the house , nancy pelosi , to sign it. it gives it to the president as pro tem of the senate and it heads down pennsylvania avenue and the president will have the signing ceremony tomorrow. you heard kelly o'donnell talk about the 9/11 bill, the fate of that still uncertain. the s.t.a.r.t. treaty api pieppears to be over the top . robert gibbs in his briefing today very careful not to gloat. it's as if he's walking on eggshells, white house staff around here, unwilling to upset whatever good karma or good fortune has brought them this recent spate of legislative success. the tax bill last friday. that compromise brought with republicans. signing the don't ask, don't tell, yes, they were disappointed on the dream act , they'll try again for that in the coming year, although prospects for that are very uncertain. they're likely to get the s.t.a.r.t. treaty, the 9/11 bill still a question mark , yes, the republican senators are upset about the substance and the process, but it's clear at this point they simply don't have enough senators to agree with them. it requires two-thirds of the senate to get there, the president has been on the phone making calls all weekend. a little side note here, of course, we know that the first family went ahead without the president on their annual hawaiian holiday as scheduled on saturday. there was a lot of speculation that he'd head down the street to see the washington wizards , an nba team, to take on the miami heat . the secret service was there, the president canceled that according to gibbs so he could make calls. we expected to see the president saturday afternoon after the final passage or the big vote on don't ask, don't tell. he didn't do that ostensibly or at least we're told because he was putting pressures on senators on the s.t.a.r.t. treaty, apparently it paid off, and we're expecting to see a vote any time in the senate.

    >> all right, mike, thank you.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments