|DADT dies for good on Sept. 20|
Don't Ask Don't Tell, the military gay ban, will be fully and permanently dead on Sept. 20.
It already can't be enforced against active-duty troops, courtesy of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
But on July 22, Congress' repeal of the ban was certified by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen and President Barack Obama, setting in motion a 60-day waiting period until the policy is history.
The certification confirms that the armed forces' implementation of the repeal and the transition to open service will not affect unit cohesion or readiness.
President Obama issued this 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.
"I want to commend our civilian and military leadership for moving forward in the careful and deliberate manner that this change requires, especially with our nation at war. 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. 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."