On June, 22, 2011, seventeen unrelenting years of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy comes to an abrupt halt as President Obama certifies the repeal. The process of the repeal was an arduous one that was brought to public attention back in December of 2010. His comments on the repeal were both sympathetic and hopeful, ‘By repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ today, we take a big step toward fostering justice, fairness and consideration”, and Obama went to explain how the policy “violates the fundamental American principle of fairness and equality”. The repeal will come into effect this September 20, as it takes 60 days to process.
A mass of torn sentiment, the U.S military officials were openly unsure (some even opposed) to the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in the first place. As a result, the 60 day grace period was demanded by the service to better prepare for accommodations to same-sex couples (in regards to health benefits and housing). However, the reluctance of these officials calls into question their views on homosexual rights. The Pentagon and military leaders claim that their hesitance about the repeal was due to the idea of passing something so major in the midst of two wars. While this serves as a distractor for the actual issue at hand (homosexual rights), it’s also a questionable claim that postponing the repeal would benefit the military in any way, regardless of the time; since the earlier the repeal is passed, the sooner the U.S can recruit more troops for their defense.
Irrespective of the views of the military leaders and Pentagon officials, the repeal has finally made its way to certification for it to be in effect very shortly. The gay population of the United States rejoices as another right is now within reach, for now they cannot be judged on their sexual orientation to defend their country. The repeal signifies a humanitarian progression and the end of an obstacle for so many Americans.
Read more at New York Times