Obama Signs DADT Repeal into Law

President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 into law. Approximately 500 people, including former troops and repeal advocates, attended the signing ceremony at the Department of Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C. “No longer will our country be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans who are forced to leave the military regardless of their skills, no matter their bravery, or their zeal,” stated Obama moments before signing the bill. He added, “We are not a nation that says, ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says, ‘Out of many, we are one.’ We are the nation that welcomes the service of every patriot.” The Defense Department now needs to move forward with planning the implementation of the new law, which overturns the controversial Clinton-era ban on homosexuals openly serving in the US military. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who steadfastly supported the repeal, has cautioned troops that DADT will remain in effect for now until Obama, Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, and he certify the new policies and regulations. “I will approach this process deliberately and will make such certification only after careful consultation with the military service chiefs and our combatant commanders,” Gates said back on Dec. 18. (Obama remarks) (White House blog entry, including ceremony video) (See also DOD’s webpage on DADT repeal)