I’m still a bit surprise this actually happened. And am finally happy about it.
I guess I never fully believed it was happening until now, and the process last year left me with such a bad taste, it was hard to rejoice when it wasn’t even sure if we’d really won, since certification was due to happen under a GOP congress. I still maintain that the President and HRC should have handled this process much better, and we almost didn’t get this at all, but for a lot of pressure by folks like GetEqual, the gay blogs, Dan Choi, SU, SLDN, a lot of other gay vets and gay troops, and more. It was the outsiders who eventually played a huge role in making this happen (by forcing the politicians and groups to get it done now, and not in 2011 when under a GOP House it would have never passed), though it would be unfair not to give the President credit as well. As much as I disagree with how President Obama handled the Congress and the military in pursuing repeal, without a President who was willing to pursue repeal, it wouldn’t have happened at all.
But it ain’t over yet. We still have no EEO policy covering gays in the military, while there is one for other minorities. Gay troops don’t get equal benefits for their partners because the administration says DOMA precludes it (the groups aren’t so clear on that one). And then there’s the issue of DADT’s victims, who the military is still trying to force to pay back their student loans and costs of training because they were kicked out for being gay. Hopefully that’s come to an end immediately, but we don’t know. And finally, transgender people still cannot serve.
We’re not done yet. But this was one hell of a start.
PS Be sure to check out last night’s post about repeal. There are some cool things in there.