|Oops. Wrong Repeal Day|
Monday, September 19, 2011
Happy Repeal Day
The military says it is ready for the lifting Tuesday of a ban on gays serving openly, while supporters of repeal applaud the historic change as a victory for equal rights - as per an article in MSNBC.com http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44582200/ns/us_news-life/?gt1=43001#.TnfTpezwA7t
George Little, Pentagon press secretary, said on Monday that the U.S. military is prepared for the demise of the current "don't ask, don't tell," policy which allows homosexuals to serve in the military by not publicly acknowledging their sexual orientation.
President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Mike Mullen have all certified that allowing openly gay service members will, in no way undermine the effectiveness of the military or its recruiting.
This repeal the current law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. EDT Tuesday. Commanders and comrades of those serving in the military were previously not allowed to ask about their sexual orientation, and they were not allowed to speak of it openly.
Last week, spokesmen from the Pentagon stated that 97 percent of the military has undergone training to be ready for the new statute. Obama signed legislation in January of this year that did away with the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
The demise of the 18-year-old ban also will mean that all current investigations, discharges and other proceedings will be terminated. However, existing standards of personal conduct, such as public displays of affection, will continue to be disciplined regardless of sexual orientation.
Service members who were previously discharged under the original Clinton era "don't ask, don't tell" law will be allowed to re-enlist, and their applications will be given the same priority as those of any other with prior military experience seeking to re-enlist.
"Our nation will finally close the door on a fundamental unfairness for gays and lesbians, and indeed affirm equality for all Americans," said California Democrat Pelosi. (I cant believe I am quoting the woman. Surely she is allowed to do one good thing.)
Said Army veteran Aubrey Sarvis, "Through these events taking place in every state across the country, we will pay tribute to their service and sacrifice, honoring the contributions of all qualified Americans who have served and wish to serve."