President Barack Obama formally certified the end of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy today, the Human Rights Campaign is reporting. The repeal will take place on September 20th.
The President signed legislation ending the policy in December of last year, but it had to occur after a formal review was signed off by the Pentagon and the White House. That happened today.
From the President’s statement:
Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality. In accordance with the legislation that I signed into law last December, I have certified and notified Congress that the requirements for repeal have been met. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will end, once and for all, in 60 days–on September 20, 2011.
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. Today’s action follows extensive training of our military personnel and certification by Secretary Panetta and Admiral Mullen that our military is ready for repeal. As of September 20th, 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.
It is unclear if the federal courts will continue a lawsuit blocking the policy in the next 60 days, or if the Justice Department will continue to defend that soon to expire law.