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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 15, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 28
BREAKING: DADT certification announced
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BREAKING: DADT certification announced

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Defense officials announced on July 21 that Pentagon chief Leon Panetta will certify that Gays may serve openly in the armed services. News of Panettas decision comes just two weeks after top military leaders agreed that repealing the 17-year-old ban would not hurt military readiness.

The Pentagon has conducted months of internal studies and training to determine how troops would react to the change triggered by a law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in December 2010.

Obama is expected to endorse the certification. Repeal of the ban would become effective 60 days after certification, which could open the military to Gays by the end of September.

This Pentagon certification received by the White House this afternoon is welcomed by Gay and Lesbian servicemembers who have had to serve their country in silence for far too long, said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) executive director. The troops and their commanders are ready. Our nations top military leaders have testified that commanders see no significant challenges ahead. The official certification to Congress that the armed forces are prepared for the end of Dont Ask, Dont Tell should go to Capitol Hill tomorrow with the presidents signature.

SLDN officials caution military members from coming out to their commanders because despite the president signing the bill authorizing repeal of DADT, it is still unsafe for service members to come out until 60 days after certification by President Obama, Defense Secretary Panetta, and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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