Posted by CDR Glynn Smith on behalf of Coast Guard Vice Commandant, Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara.
President Obama signed into law today legislation that will eventually repeal the current policy governing the service of gay and lesbian members – commonly referred to as “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” The current policy remains in place until 60 days after President Obama, Secretary Gates and Adm. Mullen certify that the military is ready to implement the change.
During the certification period, the Coast Guard will continue to comply with the policy of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” as obligated by law.
When implemented, this repeal will allow gay and lesbian Americans to serve openly in the military. As the Commandant and I have stated in the past, we believe this action to be in full alignment with our Service’s core values and the Commandant’s guiding principle of respecting our shipmates. The repeal is the right thing to do; our shipmates will no longer be forced to hide or even lie about their sexual orientation.
As the Commandant and I have said in the past, we do not harbor the slightest doubt that the men and women of the Coast Guard are up to the task of implementing the change associated with this repeal.
Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara
For more background on this important issue, please go to Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp’s written testimony for the Senate Armed Forces Committee available here and video of the hearing available here, as well as the “Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’” available here.