- Health, Wellness & Sports
- Equality Directory
WASHINGTON -- A House Armed Services subcommittee received testimony today on the implementation of the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” (DADT).
Witnesses included Clifford Stanley, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and Navy Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, director of the Joint Staff.
Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United and a former Army Human Intelligence Collector who was discharged under DADT, said he was encouraged by what he heard at today's Military Personnel Subcommittee oversight hearing on progress toward DADT repeal.
"Despite the transparent intentions behind the scheduling of today's oversight hearing on the progress toward 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal, the hearing went very well and revealed smooth sailing for ongoing training and certification preparation,” Nicholson said.
“Under Secretary Stanley and Vice Admiral Gortney thoroughly answered all questions regarding the progress of repeal training, and opponents of repeal noticeably struggled to try to get in digs about this inevitable change in policy. Overall, the Department of Defense continues to do an admirable job in deliberately moving forward toward certification and finality on this issue."
Aubrey Sarvis, an Army veteran who is executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), had a different view of the proceeding.
“Today’s hearing represents a shameless and transparent attempt by a few repeal opponents to delay, defund, and derail the timely certification and full repeal of the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law,” Sarvis said.
“Mr. Wilson [panel chairman, a Republican] knows better. There was nothing undemocratic about last year's vote to repeal ‘Don't Ask, Don't Tell.’ The measure passed both houses of Congress on a strong bi-partisan vote,” he said.
“I commend Dr. Stanley, the Repeal Implementation Team, and the service chiefs for clearly demonstrating – today and throughout this process – their commitment to carrying out the will of the Congress, the President, and the American people in a responsible and thoughtful way. We shouldn’t be delaying certification as some out of touch House members suggested today. Instead, Congress should encourage the Pentagon to get on with the task they were given last year. After all, they’ve already had 100 days to certify.”
Still at risk
Despite the President signing the bill authorizing repeal of DADT, it is still unsafe for service members to come out until 60 days after certification by President Obama, Secretary Gates, and Admiral Mullen. Warning to service members HERE.
LGBT service members with questions are urged to contact the SLDN hotline to speak with a staff attorney: (202) 328-3244 x100.