First – a proper celebratory dance please:
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is dying. The President will sign the repeal bill in a few days. The military will work on a process to stop the discharges. Service members will be able to breath & live openly as of 2011. Their partners will no longer have to live in the shadows.
Can’t believe I am saying this, but kudos to Senator Joe Lieberman for bravely taking this on and sponsoring a standalone bill for the repeal after it failed to pass cloture votes when attached to the overall military funding bill. Kudos to Harry Reid for putting it on the agenda ASAP after the house passed the standalone. Kudos to outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi for rallying her troops in the House to pass it. Kudos to the many many activists and media members who kept the spotlight on this issue for the last two years. Kudos to the Pentagon & military leaders & Defense Secretary Robert Gates for their continuing support for repeal and for engaging in the study to determine the best way to enact it and presenting those results honestly.
But really? Huge huge kudos to the man who has been blamed, day after day, for not getting this done sooner. President Obama never wavered in his desire to see this repealed legislatively. He insisted this was the best, most long term way to see it done. So that no subsequent executive could simply put gays back in the closet with just a flourish of a pen stroke. Barack Obama promised he would get DADT repealed, and later this week, when he signs that bill, a HUGE campaign promise he made will have been kept. He won. Thank him.
My heart is full right now. I’ve shed many tears this morning watching first the cloture vote pass and then the final bill itself pass both times with enough Republican support to to pass the 60 vote threshold. Final tally was 65-31. I weep for my many gay friends who today were nudged just a little closer to full equality and acceptance in our society. I weep for the activists who didn’t live to see this. I weep for my uncle who didn’t see this. Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow we continues the fight.