Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Don't Tell Us What to Ask

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Goodbye "don't ask, don't tell." At seventeen years old, the controversial law almost reached voting age.

Congratulations, President Obama, among others. A major piece of your 2008 campaign will shortly be realized.

Though, President Obama, you could have accomplished the same result by unilateral legislative action, you invited Congress to the party. Sixty-five Senators voted for the repeal of the divisive law that prevented gays from openly serving in the military. The vote largely fell down party lines. Eight Republicans crossed the aisle to vote in favor of the repeal.

In an all too rare moment of smart strategy, the historic bill was a stand alone bill, meaning it was not attached to any other proposed laws. The bill originated in the House of Representatives, which had previously passed in that legislative chamber.

A majority of both members of our nation's legislative chambers have now essentially said whether you're a man who loves women or a woman who loves women, you've voluntarily opted to risk your life for our country, so feel free to be yourself, publicly.

The historical trajectory of gay rights seems increasingly clear. All eyes will soon turn to the Ninth Circuit's decision on the constitutionality of California's controversial ballot measure, which banned gay marriage. For more on that, click here.

As for gay people serving in the military in silence, in the words of Joan Didion, "goodbye to all that."

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