Everyone’s heard, surely, but it’s worth saying here anyway: this weekend, the U.S. Senate got rid of the odious
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell rule, by a vote of 65 to 31, with eight Republican senators joining the good guys.
It’s easy to forget that the rule was originally an improvement for gay rights in the U.S. military, compared with the situation before it went into effect. It’s easy to forget that, because it was such a small improvement as to escape notice for most. Now, our legislature has said that the military has to deal with homosexual Americans serving openly.
It won’t happen immediately, though. Despite that gay people have been part of our society forever, the military has to figure out how to integrate them. Apparently, just ordering people to accept it, and doling out discipline when they don’t, isn’t sufficient.
According to the Secretary of Defense, things will move apace:
Mr. Gates has acknowledged that the president will be watching closelyto ensure that we don’t dawdle or try to slow-roll thisand that Mr. Obama expects the military to prepareas quickly as we properly and comprehensively could.
The president will not be the only one watching.