A gay rights group is calling on
military leaders to accelerate the timeline for 'Don't Ask, Don't
Tell' training, the final hurdle to repeal the policy that bans gay
and bisexual troops from serving openly.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense
Network (SLDN) has accused the Pentagon of dragging its feet.
“This training is not rocket science.
The Services can get this done by April 30th,” Aubrey Sarvis,
executive director of SLDN, said in a statement released Tuesday.
“The repeal legislation established only one requirement before the
President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
could certify that the armed forces were ready for repeal – that
the Pentagon had prepared the necessary policies and regulations.
Ninety days later, the relatively straightforward task has not been
completed and we’re being told it won’t be completed for several
The Pentagon has said it expects to
complete training sometime in August, which would mean that full
repeal could not take effect until October.
“It's simply taking too long, and
it's time to speed up the process,” Sarvis said.
Sarvis also renewed the group's call
for the president to issue an executive order banning discrimination
based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the armed forces.
“Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is
not by itself enough. The job is not done. As the President has
said, we must also implement anti-harassment policies and protocols
and do everything we can to make this transition as smooth as
possible for our armed forces and our service members,” Sarvis