President Obama ends gays in military ban

WASHINGTON - (AP) - President Barack Obama on Friday formallyenacted the end to the ban on gays serving openly in the military. The president joined Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Adm.Mike Mullen, the joint chiefs of staff chairman, in signing anotice and sending it to Congress certifying that militaryreadiness would not be hurt by repealing the 17-year-old "don'task, don't tell" policy. That means that 60 days from now the ban will be lifted,fulfilling Obama's 2008 campaign promise to the gay community. "As commander in chief, I have always been confident that ourdedicated men and women in uniform would transition to a new policyin an orderly manner that preserves unit cohesion, recruitment,retention and military effectiveness," Obama said in a statement. "Today's action follows extensive training of our militarypersonnel and certification by Secretary Panetta and Admiral Mullenthat our military is ready for repeal. As of September 20th,service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are inorder to serve our country."

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