Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that he won’t certify the repeal of DADT before he retires but his successor will.
A formal end to the ban on gays serving openly in the US military will likely come by late July or early August, outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates told AFP on Thursday.
Gates, revising his earlier forecasts, said in an interview that final approval to end the prohibition would be left for his successor at the Pentagon, Leon Panetta, who is due to take over from Gates on July 1.
Congress voted to repeal the ban in December and Gates had said previously that he might be able to sign off on the change before he steps down at the end of the month.
The new law requires the Pentagon to make any necessary changes and then the prohibition would end 60 days after the defense secretary, the top military officer Admiral Mike Mullen and President Barack Obama certify that the military is ready to move ahead.
“I will not certify,” said Gates, but added he had launched preparations to pave the way for the move.
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