Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

Americas

Military ready to repeal gay ban, Obama says

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-22

In a landmark move, President Barack Obama has signed a certification that ends the 17-year old "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military. The policy will be officially repealed on September 20.

AFP - US President Barack Obama certified Friday that the US military was ready to accept openly gay troops after a lengthy battle to lift a ban that forced gay soldiers to hide their sexuality.

 

"Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality," Obama said in a statement.

His statement came after he signed a certification with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the top US military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, that the US military was ready to accept gay troops.

The repeal of the ban, dubbed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," will now come into force in 60 days' time, on September 20.

The ban was overturned in a law adopted in December that first required the top military officer, the defense secretary and the president to certify that the change would not harm military readiness and that the armed forces were ready to carry it out.

In the interim, the Pentagon has drawn up new manuals and prepared the entire armed forces, some 2.3 million people who serve as both active troops and reservists, for the new policy.

"As of September 20th, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country," Obama said.

"Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian."

Former soldiers and gay rights groups have fought for years to overturn the ban, which was introduced in 1993 as a compromise after military chiefs rejected a bid by former president Bill Clinton to open the doors to gay soldiers.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" required gay troops to keep quiet about their sexual orientation or face expulsion from the forces, and since 1993, an estimated 14,000 service members have been kicked out of the military under the rule.

 

Date created : 2011-07-22

  • USA

    Senate votes against reviewing US military's policy on gays

    Read more

  • USA

    Obama strikes deal to end Clinton-era military policy on gays

    Read more

  • USA

    Top military chief endorses Obama plan to lift ban on gays

    Read more

COMMENT(S)