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Certification, then 60 more days

By | 2010-12-23T09:00:00-05:00 December 23rd, 2010|News|

BY SLDN.org

STILL AT RISK:Despite the U.S. House and U.S. Senate voting on repeal legislation, service members still cannot come out. “Don’t Ask” will remain the law even after the President signs the bill. Warning to service members: http://www.SLDN.org/StillAtRisk

SLDN FREE HOTLINE: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members with questions are urged to contact the SLDN hotline to speak with a staff attorney: 202-328-3244 ext. 100.

The Process Now

Even after a successful U.S. Senate vote and after the President signs the bill, servicemembers will remain at risk for investigation and discharge. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will still be the law until 60 days after the Commander-in-Chief, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs certify repeal can happen.

What is certification

The President would transmit to the congressional Armed Services Committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating each of the following:

A -That the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report’s proposed plan of action.
B – That the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection.
C – That the implementation of necessary policies and regulations pursuant to the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.

Repeal effective 60 days after certification transmittal

After the President transmits written certification to the congressional Armed Services Committees, full repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would be effective 60 days later.

Executive order

Merely repealing DADT won’t ensure that lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members can serve free of discrimination based on their sexual orientation. Policies and regulations would need to be written and put in place. SLDN will encourage the President to issue an executive order protecting service members from discrimination based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation.
This gives the President the opportunity to show strong leadership by adding non-discrimination of sexual orientation to the uniform side of the military via Executive Order.

EO 9981 (1948) issued by President Harry Truman prohibited discrimination in the armed services on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin.

EO 11478 (1969) prohibited discrimination in employment within the federal government based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, or age. It applied to all civilian employees, including those in the Defense Department.

EO 13087 (1998) issued by President Bill Clinton added sexual orientation in federal employment guidelines has been successful and set a durable precedent. OPM issued a guidance booklet in 1999, http://www.opm.gov/er/orientation.htm.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.