The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson reports that Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness Clifford Stanley has sent a memo to the military service secretaries outlining a “framework” for implementing the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Under the legislation passed by Congress last year, the policy prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces cannot be lifted until 60 days after the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President certify that repeal does not undermine the goals of the military.
The memo divides implementation into four parts: pre-repeal, certification, implementation, and sustainemnt and gives the service secretaries until March 1 to file a progress report in their efforts. Read the full memo here.
The Pentagon has pledged to accelerate the certification process, but has come under criticism for failing to issue a new nondiscrimination policy that would protect LGBT servicemembers. On Wednesday, the group Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) urged Obama to “issue an executive order prohibiting discrimination in the armed forces based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
“Signing legislation that allows for repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was a necessary first step, but it is not sufficient for ensuring equality in the military,” Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for SLDN said. “We call upon the President to issue an executive order so that sexual orientation and gender identity are not barriers to applying for a job or advancing in your career.”