THIS IS BACKUP TO SUBSTANTIATE THE “FACT SHEET” POSTED TODAY, OCTOBER 2, 2012, ABOUT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA.
LINK TO “FACT SHEET”
[This article has been edited and cut due to copyright considerations.]
Published: July 22, 2011
WASHINGTON — President Obama formally certified on Friday that the American military is ready for the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as Pentagon officials said that nearly two million service members had been trained in preparation for gay men and women serving openly in their ranks.
Enactment of the repeal will come in 60 days, on Sept. 20. The two-month waiting period is called for in the legislation passed late last year that ended “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the 17-year-old law that banned openly gay men, lesbians and bisexuals from military service.
“As of Sept. 20, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. He signed the certification, along with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about 3:30 p.m. in the Oval Office.
The certification comes after an extended preparation period, sought by military leaders and Pentagon officials, many of whom were initially reluctant to end the policy in the middle of two wars. Pentagon officials said they would use the 60-day period to review the possibility of extending some limited health, housing and legal benefits to same-sex couples.
In the meantime, Pentagon officials said that more than 1.9 million of 2.2 million active-duty and reserve service men and women had been trained in preparation for the end of the policy. They said the training sessions lasted from 45 minutes to 75 minutes and were conducted in groups of 50 to 250 service members. The sessions included a PowerPoint presentation, the ubiquitous communication tool of the military, as well as discussions of hypothetical situations.
For example, one hypothetical situation posed the question of what a commander should do about two junior male service members in civilian clothes seen kissing and hugging at a shopping mall, or how to handle reports that a service member has been seen “hanging around” a gay bar.
In the case at the shopping mall, the answer is that if the kissing and hugging “crosses acceptable boundaries” for the commander’s unit for members of any sexual orientation, a correction should be made. In the case of the gay bar, the answer is that commanders cannot place an establishment off limits simply because it caters to a gay clientele.
At least one gay rights advocate in the military said he was generally pleased with the training, even though it had slowed down enactment of the new law. “While S.L.D.N. has been critical of this protracted process, at the end of the day I think it will result in more buy-in and stability and certainty,” said Aubrey Sarvis, an Army veteran and the executive director for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
Pentagon officials said they would be looking in the next two months at “gray areas” that might allow them to extend some benefits to same-sex married couples in the military. But under current law, particularly the Defense of Marriage Act, the Pentagon is prohibited from giving federally financed benefits to those couples.
Those benefits include base housing, health insurance, certain death benefits, legal counseling and access to base commissaries and other stores.
A version of this article appeared in print on July 23, 2011, on page A13 of the New York edition with the headline: A Final Phase for Ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’.
LINKS TO ARTICLES THAT SUSTANTIATE “FACT SHEET”
Communist Party USA Officially Endorses Barack Obama
CHAVEZ TO OBAMA: I’D VOTE FOR YOU, AND YOU FOR ME
Obama Stands by Muslim Brotherhood Endorsement
Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion. Here’s how.
‘Pro-Choice’ Obama Forces Religious Institutions to Pay for Abortion Drugs
Obama Backs Gay Marriage
Obama Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy
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Posted by Donna Calvin — Tuesday, October 02, 2012
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