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Historic Milestone: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal certified

Historic Milestone: Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal certified

(Waymon Hudson for RedEye)

A key milestone in the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) has just occurred as President Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen formally issued their certification to the Armed Services committees of both houses of Congress, signifying that the military is ready for the end of the ban on gays and lesbian serving in the military. In 60 days, repeal of DADT will be final, as prescribed in the law passed by Congress and signed by the President last December.

Army Veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis applauded the historic move:

“The final countdown to repeal begins today. Service members celebrate this historic announcement, and they are ready for this change. Our nation’s top military leaders have testified that commanders see no significant challenges ahead, and now the President, Secretary Panetta, and Chairman Mullen have certified to Congress that the armed forces are prepared for the end of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’”

Sarvis also called for further action, asking for the President to issue an executive order prohibiting discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the military, which would give servicemembers recourse against harassment. SLDN also reminded the public that despite the certification issued today, it is still unsafe for service members to come out until September 20, 2011, when repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will become final.

Still, this is a huge moment in the slow demise of DADT. OutServe, the association of actively-serving LGBT military personnel, issued this statement:

“This day has been a long time in coming. Soon, we will see that gay and lesbian troops demonstrate the same professionalism that is the hallmark of our armed forces, and that all military personnel will prove more professional than some have given them credit for. Through our work with the Pentagon, we are confident they have worked hard to devise smart policies as we move forward.  As we move forward, what matters most is leadership.”

In 60 days, the bigoted ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law will be finally be history. It’s about damn time.

This is a RedEye community blog. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author and not those of RedEye or Tribune Company.

2 Responses to Historic Milestone: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal certified

  1. Bill Perdue

    DADT repeal does very little except end the codification of military bigotry by Bill Clinton, Democrat and bigot.

    It has no effect on the central threat to soldiers, GLBT or straight, which comes from Obama’s growing number of aggressive wars against peoples unable to defend themselves. GI’s, while carrying out Obama’s genocidal policies often themselves fall victim to the fighting. Over 5000 GIs have been murdered by US aggression over 30,000 wounded, about half with life changing wounds. Thousands more have been driven to suicide engaging in Obama’s killing fields. The carnage among unarmed Arab/muslim civilians in these killing fields is easily twenty times worse.

    Secondly, repeal does nothing to end the iron grip of the bigoted christer officer class who do much of the promotion and organization of anti-LGBT violence, harassment and murder. You will never see a news story of a general or other officer charged in courts martial because they aided or abetted anti-GLBT violence. You will never hear a news story of a general officer charged in court martial because women under his command were raped.

    Repeal is good but it’s not the same as a solution, which is bring all the troops home now, convene an International War Crimes Tribunal to investigate the many war crimes of Obama, the Clintons and the Bushes and to organize courts martial for all anti-GLBT christian officers guilty of promoting violence.

    And finally it does nothing to stop Obama’s arresting, detaining and occasionally torturing antiwar activists like GLBT/antiwar hero Brad Manning and the other prisoners in the three (that we know of) US concentration camps operated by Obama’s war department.

    At their best Democrats are little better than Republicans in drag.

    On November 6th, 2012 vote for the left, vote against Democrats, vote socialist, vote against Republicans or simply sit it out. Our energies should be focused on building a mass movement with an open ended campaign of mass actions to compel them to make our agenda a reality.

  2. Pingback: Boystown: RedEye 'Hoods - DADT Repeal Update: Roadblocks & Celebrations

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