Friday, July 22, 2011

President Obama Certifies The Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Senior military leaders met with President Obama today, stating that repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would pose no threat to the armed services.  President Obama then certified the repeal, which will allow lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers to serve openly in the military.  There is now a 60-day waiting period, and then the law will be repealed.

PFLAG National Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby said, "This is the end of government-supported discrimination against gay and lesbian service members who honorably serve their country and the beginning of a new chapter in our military history, one focused on the inclusion of everyone who nobly defends our nation and our responsibility to them when they come home. PFLAG National hopes that the Joining Forces program spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will be inclusive of all military families and reflect programs and outreach that are responsive to our gay and lesbian service members, their spouses and families, and the unique issues that they often face.” s

PFLAG National board member Col. Daniel Tepfer, USAF (ret.) made a strong statement regarding the spouses and partners of gay and lesbian servicemembers, saying, “It has been 212 days since the president signed the repeal of ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’, and there are still 60 days to wait before implementation begins. Beyond that, more waiting lies ahead, as legal partners and spouses of serving gays and lesbians will not receive any benefits or even recognition from the Department of Defense.  Without that all-important U.S. military spouse identification card, these spouses and partners will have no medical coverage, no on-base housing and, perhaps most important, no survivor benefits or next-of-kin notification in case of death.  Repeal of ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ is a significant victory, but an incomplete victory.  DOMA must be repealed to ensure that serving gay or lesbian is truly equal to serving straight.”

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