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Defense Secretary Robert Gates has issued new guidelines for the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that will make it harder to discharge a gay person for violating the ban.

Gates tells reporters today that the new rules, which take effect immediately, put higher-ranking officers in charge of discharge proceedings and tighter rules on evidence.

He says the new rules amount to applying common sense and common decency to a very difficult issue.

The Defense department is already in the middle of a lengthy re-examination of the ban, which could only be dropped entirely by Congress.

President Barack Obama has called for a outright repeal of the policy.

Source: Doug Stanglin for USA Today.

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates has issued new guidelines for the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"…