Monday, 25 July 2011

MaltaToday: Pentagon to certify the end of US military gay ban
JULY 22, 2011

The Pentagon is set to announce that the ban on gay people openly serving in US military is to end, officials say.

Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to certify the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT), seven months after the law was overturned in the Senate.

After the repeal, the Pentagon had asked for time to prepare troops for the arrival of openly gay colleagues.

The ban officially ceases 60 days after certification.

The certification signals that President Barack Obama, Defence Secretary Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen have officially confirmed that the military is prepared.

Over the course of the past seven months, the Pentagon has produced new manuals and prepared military forces for the change.

Under the US policy of DADT established in 1993, gay people could serve in the military but could not acknowledge their orientation. The military was forbidden to inquire but was permitted to expel service members found to be gay.

The end of DADT fulfils a campaign pledge made in 2008 by President Barack Obama, who signed it into law in December.

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