Great news for the homosexual community in their battle for civil rights. After a surprisingly little amount of debate (relative to what we could have expected only a half-dozen years ago), President Obama today signed into law the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Most people think that DADT was horrible, and it was. But let's not forget that DADT, when first put into effect, was a step in the right direction. Previous to DADT, a person was asked if they were homosexual while signing up for the military. If you said yes, you got axed right there. DADT stopped the military from asking the question, so you then only got axed if you announced your homosexuality or were otherwise outed. Literally, Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
The only problem I have with the repeal of DADT is not with the repeal itself, but with the way it was repealed. The President campaigned on his intention to repeal DADT. For his first two years in office, he and others (mostly Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans) had more than enough votes to eliminate DADT immediately. Instead of acting immediately on the issue, like someone would if they were truly passionate about it, they put it off. For more than 18 moths after Obama'a inauguration the repeal of DADT was hardly mentioned by those with the power to repeal it.
Instead, Obama and his cronies put DADT on the back burner, and brought it to the forefront only as we entered the midterm election season. The repeal of DADT was used as a way of exploiting the homosexual community for political gain in an election year. A wonderful civil rights accomplishment was twisted into something disgusting. And Obama slamming his fist on the bill after signing it and proudly exclaiming, "It is done!" What a joke. He had no passion for this issue just a handful of months ago.
My complaints about how DADT came to an end, though, are heavily outweighed by the sheer importance of the fact that it finally did come to an end. This is a day that the advocates for not only homosexual rights, but true civil rights in general, will hail as one of the most important steps of our time. I hope that today can be used as a stepping stone towards our one day accepting our homosexual friends as equals in all areas of our society and in all areas of our lives.