Pentagon to Clear Lifting of Military Gay Ban

The Pentagon will officially certify the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on Friday, thereby allowing gays to serve openly in the military, according to U.S. officials.

President Obama signed the repeal of DADT in December but in accordance to the legislation he must receive notice from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top defense officials that the military is ready to end the policy before the government can enforce the law.

Panetta and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are expected to meet with Obama Friday afternoon.

Two defense officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to several media outlets, said that Panetta and Mullen are ready to certify that the repeal of the military gay ban won't harm military readiness.

The repeal of DADT will then become official and take effect 60 days after Obama formally certifies the repeal in writing to Congress.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, one of the leading advocates of the DADT repeal, praised the pending Pentagon announcement.

"Our nation’s top military leaders have testified that commanders see no significant challenges ahead," SLDN executive director Aubrey Sarvis said in statement Thursday night.

The announcement is not expected to be welcomed by all. Chaplains and service members have long objected to the repeal of DADT, saying that the normalization of homosexuality in the military will hinder their religious freedom and also affect unit cohesion. Christian chaplains say they would be barred from expressing their religious beliefs that homosexual behavior is immoral.

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