After a drawn out fight, President Barack Obama has signed into law a repeal of the controversial policy first enacted by President Bill Clinton. The bill, signed after many hours of debate and Republican stall tactics, overturns a longstanding policy of discrimination against gays in the military. Under the policy, any gay service-members were not allowed to disclose their sexuality under penalty of court-martial.
This policy has resulted in a number of discharges of gay servicemen and women, including essential military personnel like translators tasked with engaging communities in the United State’s two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The signing of the bill has been met with support from civil rights activist groups. The overturning of the policy helps correct one of the most discriminatory employment policies enacted by the Federal government. Allowing individuals to serve openly allows soldiers to better serve their country honorably, and enjoy the freedoms that they are fighting for.
While Republicans, including John McCain, have consistently voiced opposition to the matter and looked like the repeal was doomed going into a lame duck session of Congress, we applaud President Obama and lawmakers for helping make this campaign promise a reality, and create a more equal America.