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WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense officials say Pentagon chief Leon Panetta will certify that gays may serve openly in the armed services. News of his decision comes two weeks after top military leaders agreed that repealing the 17-year-old ban will not hurt military readiness.

The decision is not unexpected.

The Pentagon has conducted months of internal studies and training to gauge how troops would react to the change triggered by a law passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in December. The Pentagon announcement is expected Friday, and Obama is expected to endorse it.

Repeal of the ban would become effective 60 days after certification, which could open the military to gays by the end of September. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been made public.

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Lara Trump

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Guillermo Garcia, a soccer coach, was fundraising for his daughter's soccer team outside of an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on August 3, 2019 when a white supremacist opened fire, killing him and 22 others in what The New York Times called "the deadliest anti-Latino attack in modern American history." El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen told The Dallas Morning News that Patrick Crusius, who was 21 years old at the time, purchased a 7.62 mm caliber gun and drove some 10 hours west from Allen, Texas, to carry out the massacre.

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