Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Serve. Ask. Tell. And celebrate.

I'm a bit late on this, but huzzah! DADT is repealed! It marks, in a very significant, official way, that homophobia will officially no longer be tolerated, just as President Truman's executive order back in the 1940s effectively ended official tolerance of racism.

I just saw President Obama sign the repeal of DADT into law this morning. Of course, he thanked the soldiers present today, saying that with little doubt, gay soldiers fought during the conflicts through our country's history...blasting the British in our fight for independence, marching along the front lines at Gettysburg, storming the beaches at Iwo Jima, dying and being consecrated forever for service in Vietnam, and currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military service is frequently ugly, and the policies that back it up are often questionable and sometimes reprehensible, but seriously, this repeal is major cause for celebration.

I remember watching some CNN or MSNBC show recently when the House passed the DADT repeal (before the Senate acted like morons). Rep. Barney Frank was interviewed about what it means, and how he felt about it. His first response? "I feel safer." I was first jarred by this response. Wasn't this all about LGBT rights? Then on further thought, the cynic in me thought that he was just saying something particularly politically savvy. Well, he was, but man, he's right: Eliminating DADT is just as much an issue of national security as it is LGBT rights. And for the majority of Americans, that's really the main issue.

A political promise made to our nation, and to gay men and lesbians across this nation, has been kept. And with such a huge, visible, nationwide discriminatory policy struck down, a huge step in LGBT civil rights has been taken. The positive ramifications of this action should reverberate for decades to come.

Thank you, Senators Lieberman and Collins, for fighting to keep this issue alive. And well done, President Obama. Thank you for keeping your promise.

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