Obama Signs Repeal of DADT

Posted on: December 22nd, 2010

President Obama signed the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” today. This will end the 17 year ban on gays serving openly in the military. President Obama was quoted as saying “This is a good day. This is a very good day.” “I say to all Americans, gay or straight, who want nothing more than to defend this country in uniform, your country needs you, your country wants you, and we will be honored to welcome you into the ranks of the finest military the world has ever known.”

When the bill came to vote in the House last Wednesday it passed 250 to 175. On Monday the Senate passed an identical bill 65 to 31. With over 13,500 service members dismissed under DADT since its enactment in 1993, this comes as a historic moment for the LGBT community, the military, and for President Obama. The repeal does not go into effect immediately though. The chiefs of all the armed forces must complete implementation plans before the ban is lifted. Additionally, they must prove to lawmakers that this will not negatively effect combat readiness as some critics have said. However, Obama seems to be optimistic. He said, “We are not going to be dragging our feet to get this done.”

During President Obama’s press conference before signing the repeal, he reiterated that the repeal does not go into effect until Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullins, and himself certifies that the military is ready. He made this point to remind current gay military service members that until this happens DADT is still in effect. He went on to say that he has spoken with everyone of the service chiefs and that “they are all committed to implementing this change swiftly and efficiently.” President Obama told The Advocate that the Pentagon is prepared to implement the repeal. “My strong sense is [implementation] is a matter of months,” Obama said from the Oval Office. “Absolutely not years.”