An agreement reached between US leaders could see the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ( DADT) – the law banning lesbian and gay personnel from serving in the US Military – going up for a vote in Congress as early as this week.
The agreement would allow Congress to repeal the law now but with actual implementation to only take place on completion of the Pentagon Working Group study, which is due to be concluded on the 1st of December.
President Obama, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs would then need to certify that the implementation policies and regulations of the repeal are prepared and that they are consistent with standards for readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention.
The plan addresses concerns expressed by the Pentagon that the implementation study process be respected, yet still allows Obama to fulfil his promise of repealing DADT this year.
“We are on the brink of historic action to both strengthen our military and respect the service of lesbian and gay troops,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
The proposed repeal of DADT will be as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill – the same way that it was enacted under the Clinton administration.
In the 17 year history of the policy at least 13,425 people have been discharged from the military under the ban.