Defense Secretary Robert Gates signaled Monday that if the top officers of each branch of the military recommend moving ahead on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before the end of the month, he will endorse it.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Gates said he currently sees no roadblocks to ending the ban on openly gay military service:
The move to end the ban on gay services could be one of Gates’ final acts as defense chief. But Gates stressed that he is not trying to hurry the process along, and that if it is not ready by the end of the month, Panetta can take action when he steps in.
More than a million U.S. troops have been trained on the new law that repealed the 17-year-old ban on gays serving openly in the armed services, and Gates said the instruction has gone well.
“I think people are pretty satisfied with the way this process is going forward,” he said. “I think people have been mildly and pleasantly surprised at the lack of pushback in the training.”
If Gates approves the certification before he leaves office, the repeal could be fully implemented in September.