I have to make some sort of comment on this historic day. Today, the Senate voted to approve a stand alone bill that repeals the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. President Obama has promised to sign this week.
This is a significant piece of civil and equal rights advancement for the LGBTQ community. Ledcat says that the importance lies in the military culture which is more conservative than the general population. The integration of openly LGBTQ persons into the military is a big stepping off point for the attainment of other civil rights. It is a significant litmus test for continuing culture shifts.
She wrote a paper in law school on this very topic in 1990 so it is also the fulfillment of something she has followed for years.
I don't profess to know how LGBTQ military feel tonight. I have had contact with advocates and activists who have been shedding tears. And I've been pondering what to say myself. There's a lot to be said. Thanks to those who drove this, appreciation for individuals like Senator Webb from VA who opened their minds and changed their votes, thanks for the strengthening of our defense and the safety of my brothers and sisters in the military.
There are political lessons that strike close to home – Pat Toomey's support of repeal, WV Senator Manchin's lack of support.
There's a lot to understand, my friends. Gay folks can't come out tomorrow. It has to be signed into law and an implementation timeframe identified. There will be backlash. Complications will emerge regarding spousal benefits and so forth.
But, it is a good night to be gay in America.