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Obama to sign repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Wednesday

Don't Ask Don't Tell

By Adam Bink

We finally got word of the schedule for the President. According to press secretary Robert Gibbs, via the NYTimes, the President will sign repeal on Wednesday morning. He may also hold a news conference, and I’m told to expect a formal signing ceremony.

I’ll be bringing coverage of the bill signing and/or news conference. Plus, we may have a special treat here at P8TT afterwards to help folks understand the next steps on certification afterwards. Stay tuned.

As many of you know, after the President puts pen to paper, no one can serve openly. The Pentagon will spend the next several months revising regulations and various policies, implementing training, and so forth. Then, the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs must send a joint letter to the Armed Services Committees is both houses of Congress, certifying repeal. There is no timeline or deadline on this process. Then, a 60-day waiting period inserted in the language of the bill  by the late Sen. Byrd (before he passed) will take effect. When the clock runs out on those 60 days, members can join and serve openly.

As of this post, 755 contributions totaling $19,669 poured in to help Courage Campaign work to make sure things don’t drag out and the process doesn’t get derailed. If you’d like to help us hit $20,000 and really generate some press, you can do so here. We’ll be closely observing the process and mobilizing around it as it becomes necessary. No more waiting.

Update 1: Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade has some comments from Gibbs explaining the process.

“My sense, without having a specific time at this point, is that … the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ will be signed by the president likely on Wednesday morning,” Gibbs said during a news conference.

But “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” won’t be off the books immediately after Obama’s signature. A provision in the measure requires that the president, the defense secretary and the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that the U.S. military is ready for repeal before open service is implemented.

Asked by the Washington Blade how long he anticipates before certification takes place, Gibbs didn’t offer a timeline, but said an implementation process will soon be underway. He said the recent Pentagon study predicts that implementing repeal “won’t be overly burdensome.”

“Again, I think that is part of what groups of people are going to working on,” Gibbs said. “But I would say this, we learned that — because of the attitudinal studies that the Pentagon conducted — we know that the vast majority of those serving in our military don’t believe this in any way will be disruptive. I think that points to an implementation process that won’t be overly burdensome.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he wouldn’t certify “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal until training is instituted in the armed forces to handle open service and until he felt the military service chiefs were comfortable in moving forward. During testimony before the Senate, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said that repeal shouldn’t be implemented until 2012.

Additionally, after the president and Pentagon leaders certify, repeal still won’t take place until an additional 60-day waiting period has passed.

At the news conference, Gibbs maintained Obama administration attorneys are working on legal issues related to repeal as well as the path toward implementing open service in the U.S. military.

“There are a series of implementation and legal issues that lawyers in this building as well in the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice are working through — and, obviously, working though a longer and larger implementation policy process once the president signs the repeal into law,” Gibbs said.

Update 2: Courtesy of JD Smith at Outserve, the following internal communique is an example of the process laid out.

From: CSAF [mailto:redacted]
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2010 11:02 PM
Subject: Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Fellow Airmen,

Yesterday, the Senate passed HR 2965, a bill designed to repeal Section
654 of Title 10 of the United States Code, known as the “Don’t Ask,
Don’t Tell” law.  Once the President signs the bill into law, the
Department of Defense will proceed to implement the change in a
responsible, deliberate, and careful manner.

It is important to understand that the President’s signing of the new
bill into law does not mean the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law will be
repealed immediately.  Instead, the Congressional language stipulates
that repeal occurs 60 days after certification by the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and the President that
the necessary policies and regulations have been prepared to implement
repeal and that repeal is consistent with standards of military
readiness, effectiveness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention of the
Armed Forces.  To repeat, the implementation and certification process
will not happen immediately; it will take time.  Meanwhile, the current
law remains in effect.  All Air Force members should conduct themselves

In the coming days and weeks as we prepare for the repeal, we will
provide education and training material to help all Airmen understand
what is expected in a post-repeal environment.

Effective leadership, however, is key to implementing this change and
success will rest on the shoulders of senior leaders like me,
commanders, chiefs, first sergeants, and supervisors.  The standards of
conduct we expect of all Airmen will not change.  Moreover, we will
continue to treat each other, as members of the Air Force family, with
dignity and respect.

I know each of you will approach this issue professionally and that you
will continue to adhere faithfully to our core values of Integrity,
Service before Self, and Excellence in all we do.   By following our
core values, we will successfully implement this change with the same
unparalleled professionalism we have demonstrated with every
transformation we have undertaken in peace and war.

Chief of Staff


  • 1. Ann S.  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:27 am


  • 2. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Does anyone think that Margaret Witt will get reinstated before the official start of the repeal? I know she is anxious about getting back to work.

  • 3. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:33 am

    woot! x2

  • 4. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Or rather the official end of DADT.

  • 5. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:34 am

    That's a Woot Woot Gregory!

  • 6. Sagesse  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Feeling a very self-satisfied attack of schadenfreude. Take that, John McCain… and Tony Perkins… and Elaine Donnelly… and …. :).

  • 7. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:42 am

    …and Arizona's other Senator – Jon Kyl!

    Kyl said something* interesting yesterday that gave me great pleasure. I know that Tony Perkins and 'others' have started a new campaign to get the next congress to repeal the repeal.

    Kyl said it wouldn't do any good and he's right. Sen. Reid wouldn't schedule a vote on the measure – and Obama would be certain to veto it…

    This gives us at least two years to educate more people.

    * source:

  • 8. Joel  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Precisely why I would like to see a definitive court decision finding DADT to be unconstitutional.

  • 9. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Hi LLB! btw think Margaret Witt is the bomb! Can't wait for the absolutely marvelous persons(Witt, Choi, Almy, etc) get redemption. I found it BRILLIANT how Mike Almy was there for the press conference right after the final vote on DADT to bear witness once again how the military did NOT play fairly during DADT…

  • 10. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:52 am

    I posted this on other thread…but is more appropriate here. A look back…and a look forward (DADT)

  • 11. Ann S.  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Nice fund-raising move, there, Kyl. We see what you did there.

  • 12. Ann S.  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Uh, I guess I mean, nice fund-raising move Perkins. We wee what you did there.

  • 13. Ann S.  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Oops. I give up.

  • 14. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:07 am

    lol – you are having my kinda day Ann! I gave up trying to reply with my typo fixes.

  • 15. Ann S.  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Thanks, LLB. Wee all need a laugh now and then. All I can do is hope that I inadvertently provided a few.

  • 16. Ed  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:14 am

    OT. I like to check out NOM's page just to see what they are up to. Well, this morning, they had a link to spot on Anderson Cooper, and i clicked on it. The link was wrong, so i corrected it (it had http twice, hence, it woldn't work.) Anyway, i tried to post a comment asking them to please post correct links. And whaddya know? Moderators deleted it….LOL

  • 17. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:14 am

    I think most — if not all P8TTs are very forgiving of typos, especially knowing there is a lack of preview/edit post buttons.

  • 18. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Ignorance is bliss in their world. I don't think they could ever acknowledge they make mistakes.

  • 19. Ann S.  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Infallibility? I thought that was the sole realm of the Pope, in Brian Brown's world anyway.

  • 20. Rhie  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:21 am


  • 21. Bob  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Wednesday, what?? why not today, Monday, , does it take that long for the bill to get to his desk,,,,,,,,,immediate action….

    And you bet we gotta follow up,,, do you know it takes no preparation to stop enforcing DADT, that can be done today, just stop discharging soldiers under that policy,,,, nothing changes,,,,,, and they can take time to train bigots to be accepting,,,,,without the threat of discharge to LGBT members…..they instantly fall into sam miltary discipline as eveyone else……..

  • 22. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:40 am

    And this also means that we have another phone campaign going, doesn't it? Yay! Let's make sure that none of them forget their promises, and let's make sure they don't drag their feet on implementation of the DADT repeal!

  • 23. Bob  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:46 am

    That's incentive for mobilization of the Democractic base, start now, ya gotta give Obama another terms, and then some, in order to actually turn this ship around……

    Put some weight into politicla efforts,,,,,find the balance , rather than give the reins to thoe republican shisters, and run to the courts to correct the injustice you allow from your elected officals………

  • 24. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 6:46 am

    I am wondering if President Obama is also planning an executive order to stop any further discharges. I think this would stop any witch hunts that are bound to happen during the next few months.

  • 25. Juli Hale  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:04 am
    off-topic, but a very interesting telephone recording of Mormon public relations spokesperson Kim Farah regarding the Mormon church's involvement in Prop 8. Unlike the NOMbies who seem to have practiced lies lines up, Sister Farah honestly seems to have no idea how God-awful wrong she is, and just tells it like she believes it. ((shudder))

  • 26. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Not so OT. After all, even though this particular thread is dealing with DADT and the repeal, this site is the Prop 8 Trial Tracker, so any information about Prop 8 is right on topic. Thank you for this.

  • 27. Straight Ally #3008  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Has civil rights legislation ever gone backwards in this country? Even now, let alone two years hence, it's a losing proposition.

  • 28. elliom  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:25 am

    As a matter of fact, yes it has. Anit-miscogination laws, DOMA, and state constitutional amendments.

    Yes, we do go backwards.

  • 29. Ed Cortes  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:29 am

    I used the paypal link – we're a bit closer!

  • 30. Ed  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:34 am

    And ya'll know this was coming…..

  • 31. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:39 am

    But it won't work – let them spend all that money. I would rather it go towards lost causes.

    Sen. Reid won't bring it to the floor and Pres. Obama would veto it.

  • 32. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Keeping DADT is a state's right?

    Can Virginia Ban Gays in Its Military?

    They've done it with civil rights. They're doing it with health care reform. Some even hope to do it with every federal law. But now, one conservative is asserting his state's rights to beat back equality for gays in the armed forces.

    Just two days after the Senate voted to allow gays to serve openly in the US military, Virginia statehouse delegate Bob Marshall is crafting a bill that would take a big chunk out of the federal government's expected repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Marshall proposes a full ban of gays in the Virginia National Guard, insisting that the Constitution gives individual states power over "the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia."

    "The Constitution never would have been ratified if states were not reserved unqualified control of the militia, now called the National Guard," Marshall told the Washington Post. Marshall, by the way, represents a swath of Northern Virginia that includes Manassas—a town that, 149 years ago, saw its "Army of Northern Virginia" openly assert itself against the US Army in the First Battle of Bull Run.


  • 33. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:52 am

    The above is why the federal government needs to act on our behalf.

  • 34. Ed  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Too dumb for words…..

  • 35. nightshayde  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:59 am

    I was just coming here to ask if such a thing would be an option once the repeal is signed.

    *crosses fingers*

  • 36. nightshayde  |  December 20, 2010 at 8:10 am

    … and there's no way they'd get 2/3 in either house to override.

    But sure — let them spend the money. =)

  • 37. Kathleen  |  December 20, 2010 at 8:12 am

  • 38. nightshayde  |  December 20, 2010 at 8:17 am

    1. It's the Virginia National Guard — not the Virginia State Guard.

    2. What are the odds that this wingnut would want all funding for the Virginia National Guard to come from the state rather than the feds?

    3. Mean people suck.

  • 39. JonT  |  December 20, 2010 at 8:37 am

  • 40. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  December 20, 2010 at 8:40 am

    yea…I nearly always mix up a there with their which I notice as I hit "post"….tempting to correct myself…I appreciate that my typos almost never get mentioned. the "wee" was cute….three little pigs came to mind….and a Geico commercial…

  • 41. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  December 20, 2010 at 8:41 am


  • 42. Straight Ally #3008  |  December 20, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I swear, ever since McDonnell and Cuccinelli won in Virginia, it's like a Puritan takeover.

  • 43. JonT  |  December 20, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Actually, I think this is more about raising money… :)

  • 44. NetAmigo  |  December 20, 2010 at 11:21 am

    If Obama was not dragging his feet on these kinds of issues, this policy would have gone the way of the dodo bird long ago.

  • 45. adambink  |  December 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Update added above, folks.

  • 46. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 20, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    "Both McEachin and Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, an attorney for the gay rights organization Equality Virginia, said even if Virginia passed such a bill it would be nullified because the National Guard is a federal military unit that is subject to federal rules."

    Va delegate wants to ban gays from National Guard

    …Opponents say a ban would be moot because the Guard is a subset of the military, and federal law would trump any state action. But Marshall argues the U.S. Constitution reserves the right to appoint a militia for the states.

    Marshall said the policy of banning gays in the military dates back to the American Revolution, when Gen. George Washington discharged a soldier for attempted sodomy and perjury.

    "He was more hard-up for troops than anybody," Marshall said of Washington. "He did not relax his standards to allow behavior that is incompatible with military service."

    Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico, called Marshall's proposal mean-spirited and "absolutely abhorrent."

    "These brave men and women ensure our safety and security without regard to the color of our skin, our religion, our age or our sexual orientation," McEachin said. "We owe them, at a minimum, the same respect."

    Both McEachin and Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, an attorney for the gay rights organization Equality Virginia, said even if Virginia passed such a bill it would be nullified because the National Guard is a federal military unit that is subject to federal rules.


  • 47. Sagesse  |  December 20, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    The Fuzzy Math of DADT Opponents

  • 48. Sagesse  |  December 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Tweet from Julian Sanchez

    Prediction: DOMA lasts until the first spouse of a gay soldier killed in action gets denied survivor benefits

  • 49. Sagesse  |  December 20, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    And Andrew Sullivan

    The Arc Of History

  • 50. Ronnie  |  December 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Sign it…sign it… sign it….."Yes we can!"…..subscribing ….<3….Ronnie

  • 51. BK  |  December 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Typos shouldn't be a big deal on casual comments boards like this, unless they change the point you were trying to get across. I hate how on many other websites, whether conservative or liberal, commentators (commenters? lol) are absolutely harsh on people who misspell things. Like somehow their opinions are wrong because they use their instead of there.

  • 52. Ronnie  |  December 20, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Lt. Col. Victor Ferhenback talks DADT repeal victory, serving openly, McCain, Amos, & more on Fox News…..<3…Ronnie:

  • 53. Ronnie  |  December 20, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Rachel Maddows segment on DADT repeal from last night…..<3….Ronnie:

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