September 29, 2012
The opponents of the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies in the military categorize the issue as a case in which President Barack Obama “has recklessly used the armed forces for unprecedented social experimentation,” in the words of Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Preparedness.
Unfortunately for the critics, on this issue, Obama has been proved right.
Gay and lesbian members of the armed services can serve openly, no longer forced to lie about their personal lives to their friends in uniform. A year after repeal, the Pentagon declares the new policy a success, with no adverse effects on the effectiveness of the armed services.
During the heated debate over the policy, many argued that the gay experience is a false parallel of President Harry S. Truman ordering the racial integration of the armed services. Yet the military rose to the challenge of this newest order, with similarly positive results.
In Louisiana’s congressional delegation, three members were proved right in voting for repeal: U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and then-Reps. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, and Anh Cao, R-New Orleans.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and five other Republican members in the House opposed the repeal legislation.
The 2012 Republican primaries were marred by an incident in which a gay serviceman was roundly booed when appearing on video during a candidates debate. Now, GOP nominee Mitt Romney says that he will not seek to reverse the change in policy if elected in place of Obama.
That is progress. All in uniform for this great country deserve respect.