Tuesday, September 20, 2011

About DADT Damned Time

Well, now he's gone and done it. Obama's just lost the vote of the Religious Right.

(Yeah, I make myself laugh sometimes...)

Starting at midnight Tuesday, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has been officially repealed, and homosexuals can now serve openly in the military. We were the last industrialized nation that didn't allow gays to serve openly, until just last night.

I'd like to make a prediction. Approximately one year from today, civilization will not crumble, and the military will be just as good as it is now.

Better, even. The gays in the military (and I knew several) won't have to hide it, won't have to keep lying about what they are (here are some of their stories now). Kevin and Kim's daughter Cat can dance openly in the Officer's Club with her girlfriend. And maybe, for the first time since we went into Iraq, we'll be able to keep some Arabic translators, instead of paying civilian contracting companies millions of dollars every year.

Funny thing about DADT: it was implemented in 1993 as a compromise measure, when Congress (to prevent Clinton from doing what Obama just did) added a requirement to the National Defense Authorization Act which forced commanders to enforce homophobic regulations which stated that homosexuality was incompatible with military service.

At the time, Republicans and other homophobes hated DADT. Odd how they switched to defending it in recent years, huh?

(It's harder to find a copy of that video that you can embed than you'd think...)

I'm going to let my president have the last words here.
Today, the discriminatory law known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is finally and formally repealed. As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love. As of today, our armed forces will no longer lose the extraordinary skills and combat experience of so many gay and lesbian service members. And today, as Commander in Chief, I want those who were discharged under this law to know that your country deeply values your service.

I was proud to sign the Repeal Act into law last December because I knew that it would enhance our national security, increase our military readiness, and bring us closer to the principles of equality and fairness that define us as Americans. Today’s achievement is a tribute to all the patriots who fought and marched for change; to Members of Congress, from both parties, who voted for repeal; to our civilian and military leaders who ensured a smooth transition; and to the professionalism of our men and women in uniform who showed that they were ready to move forward together, as one team, to meet the missions we ask of them.

For more than two centuries, we have worked to extend America’s promise to all our citizens. Our armed forces have been both a mirror and a catalyst of that progress, and our troops, including gays and lesbians, have given their lives to defend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish as Americans. Today, every American can be proud that we have taken another great step toward keeping our military the finest in the world and toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals.

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