An Important Victory for the US Military
Today I would like to celebrate a victory. A small victory, and one which was decades overdue, but an important victory nevertheless. A few hours ago, the Senate voted for closure (time to stop debating) on the repeal of 10 U.S.C §654, the law that prohibits gays from serving in the US military. This law was unfair to those who wished to serve and it harmed the US armed forces, both by depriving them of the services of some highly-skilled servicemembers and by encouraging servicemembers to lie and keep secrets. President Clinton's policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" only slightly mitigated these ills. This kind of policy made us a laughingstock throughout the world.
I am delighted to be able to say that we have taken this small but important step forward toward rights for everyone in my country. I hope it is only the first of many.