"We are not a nation that says, 'Don't ask, don't tell,'" said President Obama this morning, signing that policy's repeal. "We're a nation that says, 'Out of many we are one.'" He looked happy and relieved.
In a ceremony attended by legislators and activists — including Dan Choi and Robin McGehee, who had just weeks ago been arrested for chaining themselves in protest at the White House gate.
Obama also said, ""No longer will our country be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans who were forced the leave the military, regardless of their skills, no matter the zeal or exemplary performance because they happen to be gay. No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie." He said repeal was "the right thing to do for our military," and "the right thing to do, period."
The repeal won't be immediate, and advocates have warned servicemembers to be cautious until it is. After Obama and military leaders certify repeal and there is an implementation plan in place, there will be a 60 day waiting period. No one knows exactly how long this entire process will take.
But it is crystal-clear that gay soldiers will soon no longer have to live a lie, and that the president has delivered on a major campaign promise. On to the next battle to have everyone's rights fully and generously recognized.
In the meantime, here's the White House staff's new It Gets Better video. Was its release put on hold until repeal was assured?