From National Public Radio‘s (NPR’s) Pentagon Will Certify An End To A Ban On Gays In Military:

NPR’s Rachel Martin reports that tomorrow, the Pentagon will announce Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has signed a certification that states the military is ready to allow gay men and women to serve openly.

President Obama will then be allowed to formally end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that’s been in place for almost 18 years.

NPR then quotes the Washington Post‘s Military leaders to certify end of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ Friday:

Top Pentagon leaders will say Friday [July 22, 2011] that the military is ready to permit gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military, allowing President Obama to formally end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, according to a U.S. official and others familiar with the plans.

In accordance with a law passed in December that set in motion the process of ending the ban, Obama first must receive notice from Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and top uniformed brass that the military is prepared to end the policy before the government stops enforcing it. The policy will end 60 days after Obama formally certifies the repeal in writing to Congress.

If Obama signs the certification in the coming days, the ban would end in late September.

From the Associated Press‘s Panetta to OK end of military gay ban:

Pentagon chief Leon Panetta has decided to end the ban on gays serving openly in the armed services and certify that repealing the 17-year-old prohibition will not hurt the military’s ability to fight, officials said Thursday.

His decision, which was expected, comes two weeks after the chiefs of the military services told Panetta that ending the ban would not affect military readiness. Dismantling the ban fulfills a 2008 campaign promise by President Barack Obama, who helped usher the repeal through Congress and signed it into law late last December.

But the move also drew vehement opposition from some in Congress and initial reluctance from military leaders, who worried that it could cause a backlash and erode troop cohesion on the battlefield.

Defense officials said the announcement will be made Friday afternoon. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been made public.

And from the Wall Street Journal‘s Military Gay Ban to End in 60 Days:

Top defense officials plan to announce Friday that the Pentagon is ready to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military, officials said, a landmark moment after almost two decades of controversy.

The action means the ban will formally disappear in late September. The next step for the military is to resolve lingering questions, such as what benefits same-sex couples will receive.

Big news, for sure.