UPDATE: The Senate passed DADT repeal 65-31! Now it is off to President Obama, who will sign it next week.
America became a little more fair and just today when the Senate finally broke the Republican filibuster of repealing the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (“DADT”) policy! While one more vote still must occur in the Senate later today, with the 63-33 vote in favor of ending the filibuster, passage is a virtual certainty. And then the legislation will be signed by President Obama and implemented after 60 days by the military, and gay and lesbian Americans will finally be able to openly and equally serve their nation in the military.
Repeal of DADT has been a 17-year-long battle during which many Americans stood up to do their part in moving our country forward. Thank yous go to:
* The brave gay, lesbian, and straight service members who fought for equality, often at the expense of their own careers
* President Obama, for promising during the 2008 election to get DADT repealed and for following through on that promise in a way that will be lasting and effective
* Nancy Pelosi, for getting the job done in the House, as she almost always does
* Harry Reid, for managing to overcome every Republican road block and get this through the Senate
* Senator Joe Lieberman (there’s someone I don’t praise very often!) for fighting to bring some Republicans on board with repeal in the Senate
* Congressman John Lewis for his short but powerful speech on the House floor in favor of repeal
* The six Republicans Senators – Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, George Voinovich, Mark Kirk, and Lisa Murkowski – who finally stood up and did the right thing in voting to break their party’s filibuster
* Progressives, including folks in the progressive blogging world at places like The People’s View, Balloon Juice, and numerous others, who helped keep the pressure on our elected officials to vote for fairness, equality, and military readiness
* Rachel Maddow, who consistently used her show on MSNBC to keep the pressure on in favor of repeal.
* to all our readers who made calls or sent e-mails to their Senators over the past few weeks asking them to repeal DADT
Progressive change is always a long hard battle, so it is important that we take the time to celebrate victories. And this is a major victory!
It is also important that our elected officials hear thank yous from us when they do the right thing. So:
* Call you Senators and Congressperson to thank them if they voted in favor of repealing DADT. The roll call of the Senate cloture vote is here, and of the House vote is here. You can find their contact information here.
* Contact the White House – 202-456-1111 and thank President Obama for keeping his promise on DADT repeal
* Write a letter to the editor thanking Congress for repealing DADT. If your Senators or Congressperson voted in favor of repeal, thank them by name. Also, visit your local newspaper website and leave a positive comment on their articles covering DADT repeal.