President Obama certifies repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

President Obama has certified the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” completing another major step in abolishing the 17-year policy.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, along with President Obama, had to sign a certification stating that GLBT individuals could serve openly in the military without disruption to their units.

There will now be a 60-day waiting period before the repeal is fully implemented.

HRC President Joe Solmonese released the following statement:

“For far too long, the ban on openly gay service members has harmed our security and tarnished our values. The President’s certification of repeal is a monumental step, not just for those forced to lie in order to serve, but for all Americans who believe in fairness and equality.

“There are many people who brought this historic day to fruition starting with the President’s tremendous leadership and the steadfast allies in Congress who refused to give in to the lies and fear mongering. Additionally we thank all of the brave men and women who have continued to wear the uniform under a policy that forced them to hide who they are. The end of that shameful time is thankfully near.”

House votes to repeal ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’

The House of Representatives on Thursday approved a compromise to repeal the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law that bans openly gay people from serving in the military.

The vote of 234-194 in favor of an amendment sponsored by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) moved Congress closer to scrapping the Clinton-era law. Also on Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted in favor of repealing the law.

“We honor the values of our nation and we close the door on fundamental unfairness,” Pelosi said.

Twenty-six Democrats voted against the amendment while five Republicans voted for it.

The five Republicans who voted for the bill are Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Anh “Joseph” Cao (La.), Charles Djou (Hawaii), Ron Paul (Texas) and Judy Biggert (Ill.). Several vulnerable Democrats also voted for the repeal amendment, including Reps. Walt Minnick (Idaho), Jerry McNerney (Calif.) and Michael McMahon (N.Y.). Other Democrats in tight races voted against the amendment, including Rep. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.).

The chief congressional proponents of repeal reached an agreement with the Obama administration to repeal the policy only after the Pentagon finishes its review of repeal implementation and President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen certify that it can be achieved consistent with the military’s standards of readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion and recruitment and retention.

Lesbian Sergeant honorably discharged under "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy

Sgt. Jene Newsome was outed by Rapid City, SD Police Department for not cooperating in a case with her partner who was in trouble with the law in Alaska. This in turn had her honorably discharged by the military under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” mandate.
You can read more of this story here!

Gen. Colin Powell backs repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell"

I’ve always admired Gen. Colin Powell, except for his WMD presentation at the U.N. ..LOL

So his recent backing to end the stupid “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” imposed by former President Clinton was a bright spot on my Tuesday.
Here is his full statement:

“In the almost seventeen years since the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed. The principal issue has always been the effectiveness of the Armed Forces and order and discipline in the ranks. I strongly believe that this is a judgment to be made by the current military leadership and the Commander in Chief. It is also a judgment Congress must make. For the past two years, I have expressed the view that it was time for the law to be reviewed by Congress. I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I will be closely following future hearings, the views of the Service Chiefs and the implementation work being done by the Department of Defense.”

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Retired), 3 Feb 2010