Sunday, December 19, 2010

Victory for gay soldiers

Posted By on Sun, Dec 19, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Saturday afternoon, the Senate voted to repeal don't ask, don't tell, all but ending a policy Barack Obama vowed would end under his presidency. While the 17-year-old policy will remain in effect for another 60 days, the vote marks the end of an era and the beginning of equal rights for gay Americans in the military.

"Today, the Senate has taken an historic step toward ending a policy that undermines our national security while violating the very ideals that our brave men and women in uniform risk their lives to defend," President Obama said in a statement released after the vote.

“As commander in chief, I am also absolutely convinced that making this change will only underscore the professionalism of our troops as the best led and best trained fighting force the world has ever known.”

Here's a Geography of the Vote map, courtesy of The New York Times' Inside Congress. Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall both voted for repeal.

The Accidental Martyr
  • The Accidental Martyr
While today surely marked a victory for LGBT Americans and allies, let's remember the hardships that have come before and the sacrifices of honorable military men and women like Petty Officer Third Class Allen R. Schindler, Jr. who was brutally murdered by a shipmate for being gay in 1992.

The tragedy illustrated the need for policy change and lead President Clinton to propose DADT the following year. A story featured in Esquire in December 1993 provides a chilling account of Schindler's death.

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