The Pentagon is set to announce the official end of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy today, which has plagued gay men and women serving in the military.
The controversial law which required homosexuals to conceal their sexuality at the risk of being discharged has led to a staggering estimate of nearly 20,000 individuals being ejected from military service since the policy’s inception in 1993.
The “certification” taking place today will cease the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in 60 days. This news comes after the policy was repealed seven months ago by the Senate.
After its repeal, manuals were produced to prepare military troops for the inception of openly gay soldiers – and now President Barack Obama and the US Defence Secretary Joint Chiefs have confirmed that the military is now prepared.
Statistics released by the Pentagon showed 70 per cent of some 115,000 serving members and 44,000 spouses were in favour of openly gay men and women serving in the military.
Celebrities such as Lady Gaga have been avid supporters of abolishing the discriminatory ban and allowing openly gay individuals the right to serve their country loud and proud. Alas, some Republican officials have come forward with concerns that it will impact on the military’s performance on the front lines.
The overturn of the ban has come after years of gay rights groups and ejected soldiers’ fights for equality in the military. Hopefully this large step forward can begin to combat discrimination that still effects gay men and women today.