White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy
At the signing ceremony for the DADT Repeal Act this morning, President Obama:
We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’ We are a nation that welcomes the service of every patriot. We are a nation that believes all men and women are created equal. Those are the ideals that generations have fought for. Those are the ideals we uphold today.
Would this have happened under a Republican president? Not in a million years.
UPDATE: It appears that the military is prepared to quickly move forward on the certifications. From Huffington Post:
Although several military service chiefs expressed opposition to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, President Obama has spoken to them since the measure passed, and they are all ready to move forward expeditiously on implementing and certifying the changes.
"The President called every single service chief separately, talked to them, and they are all about moving this forward very quickly," said a White House official who helped lead the president's DADT repeal effort. "They're soldiers; they understand this is the law of the land, and they're going to get this done. They went through a process that was beyond repute to show we can do this, and I think you'll see a very, very fast process."
In a press conference on Wednesday, Obama reiterated that point, saying they "all said that we are going to implement this smartly and swiftly, and they are confident that it will not have an effect on our military effectiveness."