The long-awaited repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy marked a modern day civil rights milestone. But while activists and like-minded pols at first celebrated an achievement long in the offing, that cheeriness has quickly been replaced by political somberness.
Whereas conventional wisdom holds that legislative victories beget future ones, there was no clear sense that the president’s signing of DADT’s repeal would have such a domino effect. The battle over the military’s policies towards gay servicemembers is not over, rather it has been brought to a different stage, one focused heavily on certification and proper implementation. And while that one particular win was rapturously sweet, the next set of battles seem likely to be just as, if not more, painstakingly difficult and emotionally draining.