Finally after years of debate,it’s happened; gay service members can now serve openly in the military.
“It is time to close this chapter in our history,” President Obama said in a statement hailing the vote’s passage. “It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed.”
However this repeal is likely to have a ripple effect throughout gay rights issues such as same sex marriage,& survivor benefits for same sex couples. The president is expected to sign the repeal into law this week,although the actual implementation does not yet have a timetable. It is up to the discrection of the top military leaders including Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The critics of the repeal such as Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain,say the repeal will ” cause a deadly distraction on the battlefield at a time of war”. However lawmakers backing repeal equated the vote to other historic moments including the end of racial segregation among troops in the 1950s, which was signed by president Truman.
Opponents of the repeal stated that the military should not be used to promote gay rights,that allowing openly gay service members would hurt troop morale and a unit’s ability to fight ,these were the same types of arguments used against desgregating the military as well as allowing women to enroll in military academies.
This means for the first time gays can serve openly with out fear of being discharged.Since 1993 when then president Clinton signed the Don’t ask,Don’t tell into law,over 13,000 military personel were forced to resign.
There are still many road blocks to overcome however,such as allowing gays to marry & adopt and raise children.This is just one step toward complete equal rights for all. God bless America!