Friday, July 22, 2011

At Last

The Pentagon is set to make it official and certify that the military is ready to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

In accordance with a law passed in December that set in motion the process of ending the ban, Obama first must receive notice from Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and top uniformed brass that the military is prepared to end the policy before the government stops enforcing it. The policy will end 60 days after Obama formally certifies the repeal in writing to Congress.

If Obama signs the certification in the coming days, the ban would end in late September.

Obama met Wednesday at the White House with Panetta, who will be formally sworn in to his new job by Vice President Biden on Friday at the Pentagon. The White House isn’t planning to formally mark the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” with any type of public event until the end of the 60-day period, sources said.

Once the almost 18-year ban ends, gays and lesbians serving in military uniform will be able to publicly reveal their sexual identity without fear of dismissal or official rebuke, openly gay men and women will be able to enlist in the military, and gay couples may be allowed to wed at military chapels or live together on military bases in states that recognize same-sex marriages.

It’s been a long road, and it’s had its share of twists and roadblocks, but at least no sane or fair person could say that they did it in haste or without due consideration.

Of course that means that someone like John McCain will complain that they did, but that just proves the point.