This morning, hundreds of people came together to watch as the President signed the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell into law. Throughout the week, media outlets across the country have called the repeal a significant moment in civil rights history. Here a few of the online posts and editorials we've seen.
“Without the Pentagon study, it wouldn't have passed. Without Obama keeping Lieberman inside the tent, it wouldn't have passed. Without the critical relationship between Bob Gates and Obama, it wouldn't have passed. It worked our last nerve; we faced at one point a true nightmare of nothing ... for years. And then we pulled behind this president, making it his victory and the country's victory, as well as ours.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Making good history
“When Obama signs a bill repealing the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ rule, it will be an event as significant for gay rights as President Harry Truman’s order integrating the U.S. military was for black Americans. Obama’s signature will mark historic progress for a nation that has for too long denigrated gay Americans. Our hope is that it is the death knell for one of the last frontiers of bigotry.”
Denver Post: For gays in the military, a measure of equality
“A basic civil right will finally be extended to thousands of men and women serving our nation in the military.”
Detroit Free Press: Another policy of prejudice rejected
“[F]or anyone whose soul is still stirred by the words of America's founding declaration, the end of DADT marks a monumental step toward the equality and justice its drafters sought to secure. And the process by which it was achieved highlights both the enduring strength of the American democratic process and the wisdom of its current stewards.”
Seattle Times: Gays in the military, an injustice repealed
“This is history making on the order of racial integration of the armed services and expanded roles for women in uniform.”
Los Angeles Times: 'Don't ask, don't tell': lessons of a long fight
“Support for repeal among the public and in Congress also reflected changing attitudes that can be credited not only to gay rights campaigners but also to ordinary gay and lesbian Americans who, by embracing their identity, made it harder for their friends, families and co-workers to cling to anti-gay prejudices.”
“President Obama is correct that sexual orientation places no limits on the ability of an American to display strength, courage and character. Despite the prohibition, gays have served and fought honorably in many armies -- and have essentially been integrated in the military for decades. Irrational prejudice is a thing to be confronted and overcome.”
Louisville Courier-Journal: Repealing bigotry
“’It is time to close this chapter in our history,’ Mr. Obama said last Saturday. ‘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. It is time to allow gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country openly.’ A lot had to happen for an American commander in chief to be able to make that remarkable statement. Public attitudes had to change, and they have. Brave men and women had to risk everything in trying to end this discrimination, and they did. Public officials had to stand against storms of criticism, and they stood. The military establishment had to rectify a long-standing injustice, and it bent toward justice.”
"But ultimately this vote and ultimate victory, belongs to the veterans and active duty service members who would not relent to the inaccurate political belief that we should not allow gays to openly serve during the course of two ongoing wars."
Miami Herald: So long, 'don't ask, don't tell'
“At least 25 nations allow gays and lesbians to serve in the military -- including Great Britain, Canada and Israel. Surely, the time has come for the United States to adopt the same enlightened policy. With two ongoing wars, the U.S. military simply can’t afford to exclude any individual able and more than willing to serve.”
Virginian-Pilot: Good riddance to ban on gays
“The military will adapt to this change, just as it did to racial integration and to allowing women to serve. In both those cases, critics predicted the sky would fall. It didn't. It won't this time, either.”
Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Victory in battle: Reason and equality win on 'don't ask, don't tell'
“The majority of military men and women surveyed, plus the top brass, said they favored repealing the policy. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, supported ending ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ What counts is that a good soldier is a good soldier.”
Houston Chronicle: A salute: Finally, all American troops can serve their country openly
“It (the repeal vote) was a rare display of principle over politics, especially in the bitterly divisive climate of this rough-and-tumble lame-duck session. Good for them, good for our troops, and good for our country. Let's hope it's catching.”
New Orleans Times-Picayune: Allowing gay men and lesbians to serve with integrity
“Gay men and lesbians are already demonstrating their valor and patriotism in the armed forces, something that members of the military clearly recognized, based on their responses in a recently released Department of Defense report. Allowing them to do so honestly is only right.”
Billie Jean King, The Huffington Post: Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Is a Big Deal
"I am proud to be an American and I am honored to have the men and women who serve in our armed forces put their lives on the line to protect our nation. Their race, gender or sexual orientation does not matter to me. What matters most is their commitment to our country. And that is a big deal."