One More Step towards Equality: President Obama Certifies DADT Repeal!

Obama RainbowThis is big news, but it's the second big news President Obama has made this week on the LGBT equality front. First, he announced support for the Respect for Marriage Act, repealing DOMA, and now in the last major step in implementing the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell today the President (as well as Defense Secretary Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen) certified the repeal. Their certification sets the clock ticking until September 20 (60 days from today), when DADT will be finally retired into the dustbin of history.
Mr. Obama hailed the "final major step toward ending the discriminatory" policy in a statement, saying "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" effectively "undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality."
He told us he would.



And ladies and gentlemen, he did it.

In between, the President, and those of us who are part of the LGBT community and support this president strongly had to sit and listen bratty pretend-progressives whine and moan about first how he was never going to do it, and how the promise was simply a political one meant to ring the pockets of gay donors. How he is really a homophobe who doesn't really care about equality for LGBT Americans. Then, when the Pentagon commissioned a study, there was uproar! More stalling tactics, they whined. Then when Congress did pass it, of course, we were Obama had nothing - nothing - to do with it. And then throughout this year, we have heard whining about "foot dragging" and how Obama has no intention to actually certify it and formally end it, even as the Pentagon launched a process to educate its members and writing regulations implementing this change. And now that President Obama has certified the repeal? What will they say? I am sure they will say many things, and not much of it will credit the President.

But the truth is this: this is the final step in the road we traveled to end discrimination in the military. This is the last major step in the process of our government saying to patriots who are willing to put on our uniform and give the final measure of their love for their country that we will honor their service regardless of who they fall in love with. I could go on, but I think the President really said it best:
"As Commander in Chief, I have always been confident that our dedicated men and women in uniform would transition to a new policy in an orderly manner that preserves unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness," Mr. Obama said. "... As of September 20th, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country. Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian."

"I want to thank all our men and women in uniform, including those who are gay or lesbian, for their professionalism and patriotism during this transition," Mr. Obama said in his statement. "Every American can be proud that our extraordinary troops and their families, like earlier generations that have adapted to other changes, will only grow stronger and remain the best fighting force in the world and a reflection of the values of justice and equality that the define us as Americans."
Amen, Mr. President, and thank you for your extraordinary leadership. Without your steadfast insistence and tireless efforts, we could not have done this. Please know that most of us never lost faith in you. Thank you for standing by us and on the side of equality. We salute you, and we salute all those who serve.


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