SLDN Responds to Gates Comments on Certification
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 23, 2011
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SLDN Responds to Statements by Defense Secretary Gates on DADT Repeal Certification
Sarvis cites overabundance of caution, Pentagon bureaucracy for continued delay
(Washington, D.C.) – Army Veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis issued the following statement in response to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who told Agence France-Presse (AFP) in an interview today that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) repeal would not be certified before he retires June 30, instead coming from his successor Leon Panetta in late July or early August.
“SLDN is very disappointed but not entirely surprised by the Secretary's statement that he will not be making the repeal certification before he departs. We are seeing an overabundance of caution by the service chiefs coupled with the Pentagon bureaucracy at work. It's hard to explain, much less justify, why this stage of the process is taking more than six months. Hopefully, Secretary Panetta will bring a new sense of urgency and energy and wrap up certification in a timely way."
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. Click here to read our warning to service members.
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 x100.
ABOUT SLDN: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) was established in 1993 when “Don’t Ask” originally passed. In addition to working on repeal, SLDN offers free, confidential legal services to those impacted by the discriminatory law. Last year the organization received its 10,000th call for assistance to its legal hotline.