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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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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 debate moves forward despite uncertain future

Sen. John McCain, Adm. Mike Mullen and Def. Sec. Robert Gates at a recent Senate hearing on

The Pentagon released its highly anticipated report on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy Nov. 30 and just two days later, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a two-day hearing on the report’s findings.

The report found that as much as 70 percent of service members would consider allowing openly gay and lesbian soldiers to be “positive” or have “no impact” on morale and unit cohesion.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and Gen. Carter Ham, who co-chaired the Pentagon’s Working Group on the report, testified on the first day of the hearing. All three said that Congress should act to repeal the policy during the current lame-duck session.

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Senate Minority Leader doubts lame-duck ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) cast doubt on a lame-duck repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

When asked by host David Gregory whether or not the Senate will vote to repeal the policy in light of a recent Pentagon report stating as much as 70 percent of military servicemembers believed repeal would be positive or have no impact on the military’s morale, McConnell said that he favored Sen. John McCain’s (R-Az.) view on the issue and would “follow his lead.”

“People are talking like that, that is the only issue,” McConnell said. “That defense bill also has abortions in military hospitals. Once you get on the defense bill, it typically takes two weeks.  I don't see how we can possibly finish the Defense Authorization Bill, a two-week bill, wholly aside from these controversial items that are in it — there are a whole lot of other things in it — before the end of the year.”

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Military leaders to Senate Armed Services Committee: Time to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen

Just two days after the Pentagon released its findings from a 10-month study on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, the Senate Armed Services Committee hosted a hearing on the report today in Washington, D.C. The Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, testified in addition to Gen. Carter Ham, who co-chaired the Pentagon's Working Group.

Gates and Mullen both testified that Congress should act to repeal the policy during the current lame-duck session.

Gates stressed the importance of having Congress act before the courts forced a policy shift without time for the military to prepare for the change. Gates made similar statements before reporters earlier in the week.

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Obama renews call for DADT repeal after Pentagon report

President Barack Obama calls for DADT repeal

President Barack Obama responded to the Pentagon’s report on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” yesterday after Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Adm. Mullen presented the report’s findings to reporters.

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Pentagon study: Majority of military sees no negative impact from openly gay troops

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

The Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, answered questions today regarding the Pentagon's finalized report on the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Both Gates and Mullen thanked the authors of the study for their work over the last 10 months and reiterated their desire to see Congress pass a repeal of the law during the current lame-duck session.

"I fully endorse the report, its findings and the implementation plan," Mullen said.

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Pentagon DADT report drops today

The 10-month Pentagon study on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will be released this afternoon, according to multiple media reports. The Associated Press reports that the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, will present the study’s findings to Congress this morning and will address reporters later in the day.

According to a Department of Defense press release, the report will be presented to journalists at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Both Gates and Mullen have called for the policy to be repealed.

According to early leaked information, as much as 70 percent of respondents to a survey of military spouses and servicemembers concluded that lifting the ban would be positive, have mixed results or no results on the current military.

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Adm. Mullen: Congress should repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ this session

Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared on ABC’s “This Week” yesterday and called for Congress to pass a repeal of the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy during the current lame-duck session.

Also announced yesterday was an early release of the Pentagon’s report on a study of the policy. The report will be issued on Nov. 30, instead of Dec. 1, according to ABC.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he planned to reintroduce the 2011 defense authorization bill that would include repeal language for DADT. Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have called for the policy to be repealed before the next session of Congress.

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Supreme Court allows DADT to remain in place during appeal

The Associated Press is reporting that the United States Supreme Court blocked a request by the Log Cabin Republicans to suspend the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy while a lower court considers an ongoing legal battle today.

Last month, a federal judge ruled DADT unconstitutional because it violated a soldier’s right to freedom of speech and due process but the policy remains in effect while the lower courts wait to hear an appeal of the ruling.

The Obama administration has been pushing for a repeal of the law, but is defending the lawsuit. Congressional repeal appears less likely in the coming session due to gains made by Republicans in the midterm elections.