DADT repeal certified

 Posted by at 16:44  Politics
Jul 222011

It’s done…

Obama certifies end of military’s gay ban

President Barack Obama on Friday certified the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the policy preventing gays from openly serving in the military.

“Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian,” [President] Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

The move came after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the Joint Chiefs of Staff certified that the military was ready to end the ban.

Each member of the Joint Chiefs had to submit a recommendation to [Secretary] Panetta, indicating that they are far enough in their training to repeal DADT, and that it will not have an impact on military readiness.

[President] Obama’s certification starts a 60-day waiting period to implement the repeal — before “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” is officially a thing of the past.

“As of September 20th, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country,” [President] Obama said.


Dec 222010

The United States took another step today toward granting fill civil rights to all her citizens. President Obama signed the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. Gays and lesbians will soon be able to be themselves as they step forward and volunteer to fight and die for their country.

For we are not a nation that says, “don’t ask, don’t tell.” We are a nation that says, “Out of many, we are one.” We are a nation that welcomes the service of every patriot. We are a nation that believes that all men and women are created equal. Those are the ideals that generations have fought for. Those are the ideals that we uphold today.

Video of the signing ceremony:

The transcript of the remarks of the Vice President and President follows the break.

Continue reading »

DADT Repealed

 Posted by at 15:08  Politics
Dec 182010

President Obama was able to deliver on a huge campaign promise today. The Senate voted 65-31 to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Since the repeal had previously passed the House of Representatives, it will now go to the President for his signature.

The President released the following statement today:

Today, the Senate has taken an historic step toward ending a policy that undermines our national security while violating the very ideals that our brave men and women in uniform risk their lives to defend. By ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” no longer will our nation be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans forced to leave the military, despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay. And no longer will many thousands more be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love.

As Commander-in-Chief, I am also absolutely convinced that making this change will only underscore the professionalism of our troops as the best led and best trained fighting force the world has ever known. And I join the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the overwhelming majority of service members asked by the Pentagon, in knowing that we can responsibly transition to a new policy while ensuring our military strength and readiness.

I want to thank Majority Leader Reid, Senators Lieberman and Collins and the countless others who have worked so hard to get this done. It is time to close this chapter in our history. It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed. It is time to allow gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country openly. I urge the Senate to send this bill to my desk so that I can sign it into law.

(This statement was issued earlier today after the Senate’s vote to end debate on the repeal legislation and prior to the final vote, thus the urging for the Senate to send the bill to his desk. The bill is now on the way to his desk.)

DADT days numbered

 Posted by at 18:04  Politics
Feb 022010

The days of discrimination in the United States military are numbered…

Defense officials’ testimony urges lifting of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy

The nation’s top two defense officials expressed strong support Tuesday for President Obama’s plan to end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and announced that a high-level Pentagon working group would immediately begin preparing for a repeal of the controversial law.

But in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said the working group would take the rest of this year to review the various issues involved in a repeal and produce an “implementation plan” containing its findings and recommendations. He said this lead time was necessary “to get this right and minimize disruption to a force that is actively fighting two wars and working through the stress of almost a decade of combat.”

In the meantime, Gates said, he is directing the Defense Department to quickly review regulations implementing “don’t ask, don’t tell” and recommend changes within 45 days on ways, within existing law, to “enforce this policy in a more humane and fair manner.”

Appearing with Gates before the committee, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said repealing the policy, which requires gay service members to keep their sexual orientation secret, is “the right thing to do.” He said he was personally troubled by a policy that forces service members to “lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.” He stressed that in endorsing a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” he was “speaking for myself and myself only.”

Gates told the committee, “I fully support the president’s decision. The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we best prepare for it. We have received our orders from the commander in chief, and we are moving out accordingly.”

I don’t understand why you need a year-long study to determine how to stop discriminating. Seems to me you could just decide to do it and do it.

The Republicans are, of course, opposed. That is to be expected. They’re opposed to everything these days and they have always opposed equal rights for all Americans.