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Service Chiefs: DADT repeal implementation ‘going very well’

Military Chiefs at a Don't Ask, Don't Tell hearing before the House Armed Services Committee

The House Armed Services Committee held a hearing today on the implementation of the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.” For the first time since the repeal was signed into law by President Barack Obama late last year, the military's service chiefs were called before Congress to testify on the anti-gay policy's repeal.

Though no firm date for full repeal was given, several service chiefs said their branches are aiming to complete training before mid-summer and that most were on track or ahead of schedule with regard to training.

Today's hearing featured Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos and Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who represented the Army in the place of Gen. George Casey, who was tending to family matters.

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Gay military org creates magazine for gay soldiers

OutServe Magazine's debut issue drops in April

OutServe, a collection of underground LGBT military personnel, announced today that it will publish a new magazine geared toward gay servicemembers. OutServe was formed in 2010 as the debate over the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy moved into the political spotlight.

The magazine's inaugural cover highlights a United States military in a post-DADT era.

“Our first objective with the magazine is to let all the gay, lesbian, bi, and trans members currently serving know that they are not alone,” said OutServe’s co-director, an active-duty officer who goes by the pseudonym JD Smith, via a press release. “And we also want to communicate to all troops that there are capable gay military members serving honorably, and that accepting that and moving on will make our military stronger.”

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Servicemembers United: Military discharged 261 under DADT in 2010

The Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security discharged 261 gay and lesbian troops last year under the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, according to Servicemembers United.

The policy, which has since been legislatively repealed, is still technically in effect. President Barack Obama signed the repeal into law late last year but it must be certified by military leaders and the president. After certification, the ban will remain law for 60 days.

No indication has been made about the process used to certify the bill or how long the process will take.

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Defense secretary lays out plan for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal implementation

Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave the first indication of a move toward the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” late last week when he released a memo calling on military leaders to draft training material needed before the repeal’s implementation.

According to the memos, the effective date of repeal has yet to be determined, but they do, however, outline the upcoming policy changes each branch of the military will face after the law is overturned.

The memos also state that once repeal is certified, the military will no longer be allowed to discharge members of the armed services because of their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation and must cease all open investigations regarding gay servicemembers.  The change in policy will also allow previously discharged soldiers the opportunity to re-enlist.

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White House: President to sign ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal Wednesday

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today that President Barack Obama will sign the recently passed Don’t Act, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 into law this coming Wednesday, Dec. 22., according to USA Today.

Gibbs also said that the White House has discussed hosting a news conference after Congress adjourns for its Christmas break Wednesday morning and would include a formal signing then.

According to the article, the White House and the Pentagon are currently investigating “implementation and legal issues” of repeal. Once repeal is signed into law, the president, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates would need to certify the policy could be lifted without adverse effect to the military.

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President Obama calls ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal ‘historic step’

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama responded to the Senate’s passage of a stand-alone repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

The Senate passed repeal 65 to 31 on Saturday. The House passed an identical measure last week 250 to 175.

The bill will now make its way to the president to be signed into law.

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Senate votes for cloture on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ repeal almost certain

The United States Senate debated a stand-alone repeal of the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy today. The debate came after several failed attempts by the Senate to pass repeal as an amendment to the 2011 Defense Authorization Act.

Senate Republicans previously blocked the measures by forcing continued debate. Today was the first time that the Senate was able to pass cloture, allowing a final vote on the bill. The cloture vote was 63 to 33. Some 60 votes were needed for it to pass.

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Reid announces ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ vote on Saturday

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced plans to scrap a 1,924-page spending bill from being debated and voted on during the final days of the current lame-duck congressional session in favor of votes on repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and the DREAM Act.

According to Huffington Post, the Senate will vote on the measures Saturday starting with the DREAM Act and moving on to DADT repeal later in the day.

The House of Representatives passed a stand-alone repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members earlier this week by a wide margin. The Senate has been unable to move forward on the 2011 Defense Authorization Act that included repeal language, so Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.) and Susan Collins (R-Me.) introduced a stand-alone repeal.

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By the numbers: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

71

Percent of military service members who said allowing gays to serve openly would have no impact on military readiness.

57

Percent of military service members who said allowing gays to serve openly would have no impact on their morale.

54

Percent of military service members who said allowing gays to serve openly would have no impact on unit cohesion.

53

Percent of combat-deployed military service members who said allowing gays to serve openly would have no impact on effectiveness.

62

Percent of service members who said their military career plans would not change due to repeal.

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DADT update: Sens. Lieberman and Collins announce stand-alone repeal

Late this afternoon, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.) announced a plan to bring a repeal of the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to the Senate for a full vote apart from the 2011 Defense Authorization Act.

“We are working with our colleagues and are confident that there are at least 60 Senators who support repeal,” Lieberman Tweeted this afternoon.

According to Lieberman’s Twitter page, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will issue a “Rule 14” on the measure, which will allow the bill to bypass The Senate Armed Services Committee and come directly to the floor for a vote.

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Reid: Senate cloture vote on defense bill ‘likely’ tonight, includes ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said this morning on the Senate floor that a cloture vote on the 2011 Defense Authorization bill, which includes repeal language for the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, could be voted on tonight if time allowed, according to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

“And I’m likely going to move to my motion to reconsider on the Defense Authorization Act this evening,” Reid said. “Allowing, as I will indicate at that time, time for amendments to that piece of legislation.”

According to SLDN, Reid is “actively reaching out to his Republican colleagues to reach an agreement on how to proceed.”