Progress in America: DADT goes down
The Senate voted to repeal DADT on Saturday. We've written about DADT a lot here, and I won't repeat myself here, but I must say that while I am neither gay nor in the military, nor even American, I am incredibly happy about this. It was a hard-fought victory for the opponents of this bigoted policy, a victory not just for President Obama and the Democrats in a partisan political sense but more broadly for liberty, for the noble principles for which America purports to stand.
I may not be American, but I have roots in America, and I genuinely love America, and yesterday, I believe, America took a significant step forward in its progress towards justice.
Here's the Times:
The Senate on Saturday voted to strike down the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military, bringing to a close a 17-year struggle over a policy that forced thousands of Americans from the ranks and caused others to keep secret their sexual orientation.By a vote of 65 to 31, with eight Republicans joining Democrats, the Senate approved and sent to President Obama a repeal of the Clinton-era law, known as "don't ask, don't tell," a policy critics said amounted to government-sanctioned discrimination that treated gay, lesbian and bisexual troops as second-class citizens.Mr. Obama hailed the action, which fulfills his pledge to reverse the ban, and said it was "time to close this chapter in our history."
Of course, there is still a lot more to be done. While gays and lesbians will be able to serve openly, to fight and die for their country, we must remember that they do not enjoy equal rights as American citizens. They are still subjected to widespread bigotry, in particular with respect to marriage.
America has come a long way, but the fight must continue. Those noble principles often seem like little more than aspirational and unachieveable goals, but now, after this historic vote, and with Obama's signature soon to come, they are more within reach.