President Obama Certifies An End To Ban On Openly Gay People Serving In The Military

This afternoon, President Barack Obama joined Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Admiral Mike Mullen to formally end the controversial ban on openly gay individuals serving in the U.S. military. The President signed and sent a notice to Congress certifying that repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will not have an adverse impact on military readiness. As such, the repeal will be put into effect in 60 days’ time, on September 20th:

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.

The repeal will bring with it certain changes. Not only will those serving in the military no longer be discharged for sharing that they are homosexual, but who were discharged before the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” may apply to re-enter the force. In addition, service members may now designate same-sex partners as beneficiaries for insurance and other such benefits.

h/t Washington Post

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