Panetta to Certify End of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Today

Friday, July 22, 2011

17 years and 14,500 soldiers later, the viciously homophobic prohibition on gay and lesbian Americans serving in the military known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ends today.

Newly minted Pentagon chief Leon Panetta will sign the certification today, ending the 17-year-old ban and marking a new era of U.S. military policy and equality.

Panetta’s decision, which was expected, comes two weeks after the chiefs of the military services said ending the ban would not affect military readiness and ending the ban fulfills pledge President Barack Obama made in the 2008 campaign.

The repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was signed into law last December.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was adopted during the Clinton administration. The policy has resulted in the separation of more than 14,500 men and women from the military.

The ban has been the target of numerous legal challenges, including a Federal court ruling in July that ordered the government to stop enforcing the ban.

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6 Responses to Panetta to Certify End of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Today

  1. Eric Equality Kuntz says:

    Now Obama can market himself as our “fiercest advocate” and not be met by gales of laughter.

    Too bad he didn’t push for the even more important repeal of DOMA when the Dumbos controlled the House and the Senate. But, Obama, being the least confrontational, most passive-aggressive leader in U.S. history, just couldn’t go there.

  2. Johnny says:

    DOMA is important, but I think ENDA is more important since it affects all gays, not just those in marriages. Most people don’t even know it’s still legal to fire people because they’re gay. Slippery types like Obama take advantage of that, acting like gay rights = gay marriage, and since gay marriage is still controversial, gosh he just can’t do anything to help out. Meanwhile the vast majority of Americans have opposed discrimination against gays in the workplace for many years, but Obama just ignored ENDA until we lost our big majorities, and now it’s going to be a decade or more before ENDA passes. And it’s fairly weak, watered-down legislation with exemptions for religious groups anyway. They should just amend the 1964 Civil Rights Amendment to include gays.

  3. Brigadoon says:

    What about spousal survival benefits? Will the spouse of a gay man or lesbian killed while serving be entitled to the same benefits straight spouses receive or will DOMA fuck us out of this too? Sorry to be Debbie Downer but with so little to celebrate from the Obama administration, I think this is a very valid question we need to know before the party can begin.

  4. Harry says:

    Brigadoon raises an important question. If the military benefits aren’t identical, then the service is getting us for free. Totally unacceptable.

  5. Peace Nick says:

    I think ENDA and DOMA are both important.

    However, if we’ve learned anything its that Obama runs away from a fight and the ruling House GOP isn’t going to vote to repeal DOMA. I’m afraid Obama missed his chance in 2009 and 2010.

  6. fran says:

    I heard the military will take an additional 60 days to enact this change.
    They should give restitution & reinstatement to all of those who lost jobs, rank & benefits due to previous government discrimination.

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