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Obama Signs DADT Repeal

Obama Signs DADT Repeal

The president signed certification for repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" today and sent it to Congress. Now another waiting period begins. A 60-day waiting period follows before the policy is finally dropped, meaning that DADT would no longer be enforced on Sept. 20. A recent order from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals already bars the military from further discharges and investigations under the policy. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, cheered the certification and looked ahead to next steps.

The president signed certification for repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" today and sent it to Congress. Now another waiting period begins.

A 60-day waiting period follows before the policy is finally dropped, meaning that DADT would no longer be enforced on Sept. 20. A recent order from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals already bars the military from further discharges and investigations under the policy. 

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, cheered the certification and looked ahead to next steps.

“Today’s certification for all practical purposes marks the end of a discriminatory policy," Levin said in a statement. "There is no way to justify a policy that requires our young men and women in uniform to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. Sixty days from now, these service members will be able to serve openly, without living in constant fear of being outed and kicked out of the military."

News of the historic change was delivered to senators and advocacy groups before being made public. The White House called to share the news with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, according to executive director Aubrey Sarvis. And Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand reacted on Twitter, saying she was "thrilled" about repeal's certification. "Putting this corrosive policy behind us will strengthen America both militarily & morally," she wrote.

Defense secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen were prepared to recommend repeal certification of “don’t ask, don’t tell” during a meeting with the president today, Defense officials confirmed with The Advocate. Panetta, who was sworn in as Defense secretary three weeks ago following the retirement of Secretary Robert Gates, was ready to report to the president that lifting the ban on openly gay service members is consistent with standards of military readiness and unit cohesion.
 

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