Obama Certifies "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal


President Obama on Friday signed a certification of Congress' repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy banning gay men and women from serving openly in the military, setting the stage for the Clinton-era policy to be formally abolished on September 20, 2011.

Obama hailed the "final major step toward ending the discriminatory" policy in a statement, saying "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" effectively "undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality."

The policy will not be formally abolished until September 20 because the legislation passed by Congress late last year requires a 60-day waiting period between the certification by Mr. Obama and military leaders and full repeal.

Both Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen also certified that the military was prepared for repeal to be implemented. The certification follows a review period in which the military engaged in training and regulatory review and assessed the impact of implementation on readiness.

In his statement, the president commended civilian and military leadership "for moving forward in the careful and deliberate manner that this change requires, especially with our nation at war."

"As Commander in Chief, I have always been confident that our dedicated men and women in uniform would transition to a new policy in an orderly manner that preserves unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness," Obama said. "... As of September 20, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country. Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian."

Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said in a statement that "our entire country benefits when fairness prevails, when service members no longer have to fear being targeted by their own government."

The military cannot currently investigate or discharge a service member under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy because of a court injunction, though it is technically allowed to deny enlistment to openly gay men and women until the policy is fully repealed.

With repeal imminent, advocates for gay men and women in the military will now turn to issues like spousal benefits. The Defense of Marriage Act, which the Obama administration opposes, currently bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

"I want to thank all our men and women in uniform, including those who are gay or lesbian, for their professionalism and patriotism during this transition," Obama said in his statement. "Every American can be proud that our extraordinary troops and their families, like earlier generations that have adapted to other changes, will only grow stronger and remain the best fighting force in the world and a reflection of the values of justice and equality that the define us as Americans."

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Bert Location: West Side on Jul 25, 2011 at 02:03 PM
    I just adore how people think so off or on. If you disagree you are a hateful biggot, if you are a christian you are a death monger. But if you are gay black or hispanic you are a victim that NEEDS special laws and rules because you were "born" defective. Just issue them all pink camoed helmets and move on.
  • by Sam Location: C/S on Jul 24, 2011 at 03:53 PM
    @thomas - You're so right! They are so much less understanding they those gay loving Islamic terrorist! Do the world a favor and hold a joyful gay pride parade, in Iran.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 23, 2011 at 01:05 PM
    Thomas, it is not Christians who spread hate and bigotry, but ppl like you who go to great lengths to paint Christians as the bad ppl. Sorry but standing up for what is right is NOT hate and bigotry, so you might as well stop your childish little tirade bc it is getting you nowhere.
  • by thomas Location: cs on Jul 23, 2011 at 11:56 AM
    Nothing has brought more bigotry and hate into the world than Christianity.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 23, 2011 at 11:00 AM
    Gays being higher up than the rest of us???? Please. They are willfully doing something immoral, and there is nothing good abt that:( I hope and pray we get someone in the Whitehouse next who will stand up for morality, instead of pandering to the freakshow who think they can force their sick agenda on everyone, including our children, which is the saddest thing of all:(
  • by D.1 Location: here on Jul 23, 2011 at 09:13 AM
    @al so what are you doing here?practice what you preach dont push your "ideas" on to me.Some people just need to get out of this mind set that your better than someone for whatever reason.wether your gay straight bi it doesnt matter its your life it was given to you and no one has the right to tell you how or what to do with it.so get over yourself and "love thy neighbor".
  • by @ anonymous on Jul 23, 2011 at 08:28 AM
    Intollerance and idiocracy make me have a sad face... :(
  • by Anonymous Location: C/S on Jul 23, 2011 at 08:25 AM
    Just don't drop the soap!
  • by Kay Location: colorado springs on Jul 23, 2011 at 07:56 AM
    You are sick Anonymous and anyone else that thinks that way.People like you are what is making this country so full of hate.These men and women are so much higher up then you will ever be!
  • by Anonymous Location: Colorado Springs on Jul 23, 2011 at 07:25 AM
    What a sad day when the military is forced to condone homosexuality:( At least it will go away with the next election. I guarantee that the next president won't be like Obama and pander to the homosexuals. 2012 can't come soon enough!
KKTV 520 E. Colorado Colorado Springs, CO 80903 Office: (719) 634-2844 Fax: (719) 632-0808 News Fax: (719) 634-3741
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 125983679 - kktv.com/a?a=125983679
Gray Television, Inc.