17 Years Ago…
17 years ago, President Clinton promised to repeal the ban on homosexuals serving in the military. After Congressional phone lines were flooded with calls of opposition and pressure from all sorts of religious and political groups mounted, policy-makers instead struck a deal that later became to be known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Now that deal is over, by law.
I am astonished at how far we’ve come. Polls show consistently that a majority of Americans support repealing DADT. 17 years ago, it could have easily been the Family Research Council, the Catholic Church, and the Southern Baptist Convention (they all still oppose open service) organizing a huge rally in front of Congress for a decisive vote, but this year, virtually all the people who show up support repeal.
We will join virtually every other developed nation by having a military that does not discharge or investigate its members because of their sexual orientation.
From these 17 years, we should realize that we should, even in the face of overwhelming pressure and opposition, keep trying and trying and trying. Sometimes you never even realize how much things have changed.