The policy prohibited military personnel from discriminating against or harassing closeted homosexual or bisexual service members or applicants, while barring openly gay , lesbian , or bisexual persons from military service. This relaxation of legal restrictions on service by gays and lesbians in the armed forces was mandated by United States federal law Pub. The act prohibited any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing their sexual orientation or from speaking about any homosexual relationships, including marriages or other familial attributes, while serving in the United States armed forces. The act specified that service members who disclose that they are homosexual or engage in homosexual conduct should be separated discharged except when a service member's conduct was "for the purpose of avoiding or terminating military service" or when it "would not be in the best interest of the armed forces". The "don't ask" part of the DADT policy specified that superiors should not initiate investigation of a service member's orientation without witnessing disallowed behaviors, though credible evidence of homosexual behavior could be used to initiate an investigation. Unauthorized investigations and harassment of suspected servicemen and women led to an expansion of the policy to "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue, don't harass".
By country. LGB service by country. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer LGBTQ personnel are able to serve in the armed forces of some countries around the world: the vast majority of industrialized, Western countries, including some Latin American countries such as Brazil and Chile ,   in addition to South Africa , and Israel. This keeps pace with the latest global figures on acceptance of homosexuality, which suggest that acceptance of LGBTQ communities is becoming more widespread only in secular, affluent countries. However, an accepting policy toward gay and lesbian soldiers does not invariably guarantee that LGBTQ citizens are immune to discrimination in that particular society. Even in countries where LGBTQ persons are free to serve in the military, activists lament that there remains room for improvement. Israel , for example, a country that otherwise struggles to implement LGBTQ-positive social policy, nevertheless has a military well known for its broad acceptance of openly gay soldiers.