WASHINGTON, July 8 (UPI) -- Openly gay service members will no longer be dismissed from the U.S. military and those who wish to serve can start applying, the Pentagon said Friday.
The Defense Department ordered the changes two days after a federal appeals court in California ruled the "don't ask, don't tell" policy may no longer be enforced, The Army Times reported.
The military is currently carrying out training to prepare for allowing gays to serve openly. Once the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify training has been completed, which is expected this summer, the new policy will take effect in 60 days.
Only four service members have been forced out because of their sexual orientation since the Defense Department began requiring approval from the civilian secretaries last October.
Friday's change was described as a moratorium on enforcement of "don't ask, don't tell." The Obama administration has not yet said whether it will appeal the appeals court ruling.