Earlier this morning, President Obama signed a bill which will put an end to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This policy, implemented during the Clinton era, banned openly gay men and lesbians from serving in the United States military. Over the past seventeen years, approximately fourteen thousands troops were discharged because of this discriminatory law. Although the law has not been officially repealed yet, Obama has asked Defense Secretary, Robert M. Gates, to suspend all current investigations and discharges relating to a service member’s sexual orientation.
The next step requires the military to meet certain requirements. Troops must undergo new training and education programs. Then, the military will have to draft new policies which will recognize the needs and rights of all service members. Following this, Obama, along with Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of Joint Chief of Staff, will inform Congress that the military is prepared for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Once this is done, there will be a sixty-day interim period before the law is officially repealed.
Stay tuned for more news about DADT repeal!